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Remote Native Villages in Alaska to Benefit from $27.9 million in Recovery Act Funds to Improve Water Services

Release Date: 07/09/2009
Contact Information: Paula VanHaagen, EPA/Seattle 206-553-6977, vanhaagen.paula@epa.gov; Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa,gov

(Seattle, Wash. – July 9, 2009) Nearly 30 Native Villages in Alaska will have improved access to vital water services through $27.9 million in 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) are directing $90 million nationwide in ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects designed to better protect human and environmental health in Indian Country and Alaska’s Native Villages.

“This infusion of funds is very important for our tribal communities,” said Michelle Pirzadeh, EPA’s acting Regional Administrator in Seattle. “This work is part of our commitment and trust responsibility to provide clean drinking water and healthy sanitation to tribal families.”

These funds will bring much needed drinking water and sanitation improvements to more than 3,200 families in some of Alaska’s most remote areas. Many of these households are in great need of modernized infrastructure to ensure clean drinking water and improved wastewater systems that are protective of people’s health and the environment.

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 recovery.gov.

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