ANCHORAGE, AK – The Indian Health Service (IHS) recently announced Alaska is receiving more than $440 million to improve sanitation infrastructure in communities across the state. The funding is awarded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS), and the FY23 IHS enacted budget.
Championed by the Alaska Congressional Delegation, funding through IIJA will enable numerous communities to obtain access to modern water and wastewater systems, many for the first time ever. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) will receive the funding from the IHS to carry out these projects.
“Access to clean water and sanitation systems has a direct connection to the physical, environmental, and economic health of individuals and communities,” said ANTHC President and CEO Valerie Nurr’araluk Davidson. “Quyana to the Tribal leaders, communities, and the Alaska Congressional Delegation who have worked tirelessly to ensure Alaskans, regardless of where they live, have basic infrastructure that supports healthy lives.”
“As a result of this significant investment, we will be able to fund 42 projects in communities across the state,” said David Beveridge, ANTHC VP of Environmental Health, Engineering and Facilities Services. “We’re excited to work with communities in all phases of projects, from planning and construction, to training and employing local teams who know how to get work done.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, often referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is providing water and sanitation infrastructure funding to be distributed over a span of five years. Prior to its passage, First Lady Jill Biden visited ANTHC to promote safe, effective vaccination. During her visit she inquired about the leading public health issue in Alaska.
President Davidson shared the impact the lack of running water and sewer had in communities during the pandemic. Shortly after First Lady Biden’s visit, the IIJA framework included significant funding for rural water and sewer systems nationwide.