Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases from Region 2

 

Seneca Nation of Indians and St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Benefit from Recovery Act Funds to Improve Water Services

Release Date: 07/08/2009
Contact Information: John Senn (212) 637-3667 or senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The Seneca Nation of Indians and St. Regis Mohawk Tribe will have improved access to vital water services through funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Indian Health Service (IHS) today announced $90 million nationwide in ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects designed to better protect human and environmental health in Indian Country. More than $2 million of that money will be provided to the Seneca Nation and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

“This Recovery Act funding will provide much needed improvements to drinking water and waste water systems for these nations at the same time it will create job opportunities,” said George Pavlou, EPA Regional Administrator. “This extra funding creates green jobs to help pull us out of this downturn and ensure the long-term strength of our economy and our environment.”

Through the IHS, EPA is providing $1,343,330 for the Seneca Nation of Indians to replace the Thomas Indian Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is deteriorated. The nation will also connect 127 homes to the plant. EPA is similarly providing $349,000 in funding for the Seneca Nation of Indians to upgrade the drinking water distribution system in the Cattaraugus Territory and to add connections to provide water to the Burning Springs and Versailles communities.

The EPA will also provide $349,000 in funding through the IHS to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe to upgrade and improve its St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Filtration Plant. The system will be upgraded and expanded to improve its ability to treat drinking water. In addition, the tribe will construct a new laboratory that it will use to test the water to ensure it meets drinking water standards.

Continuing a tradition spanning 20 years, EPA and IHS’s combined effort to improve water services in Indian Country contributed to their identification of 95 wastewater and 64 drinking water priority projects to be completed by IHS’s Sanitation Facilities Construction Program through EPA Recovery Act funds. The projects exceed the Recovery Act requirement that 20 percent of the funds be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally innovative projects.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the recovery act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at http://www.recovery.gov.

More information about all the EPA Recovery Act water efforts: http://www.epa.gov/water/eparecovery/.

09-077