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Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Benefits from Recovery Act Funds to Improve Water Services

Release Date: 07/09/2009
Contact Information: Kara Belle, (404) 562-8322, belle.kara@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – July 9, 2009) The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will have improved access to vital water and wastewater 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 for ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects designed to better protect human and environmental health in Indian Country.

“These Recovery Act funds are vital to the timely replacement of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ aging infrastructure,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator. “Safe and adequate drinking water and wastewater facilities will boost the Tribe’s effort to protect public health and the environment while creating green jobs”

The projects will improve drinking water and wastewater services on tribal lands. Continuing a tradition spanning 20 years, EPA and IHS combined efforts to improve water and wastewater services in Indian Country through identification of 95 wastewater and 64 drinking water priority projects to be completed by IHS’s Sanitation Facilities Construction Program with 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/