SEATTLE – During a visit Thursday with the Lummi Nation in Bellingham, Washington, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox, announced more than $278 million in funding for American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages to improve water infrastructure.
“The Lummi Nation’s Gooseberry Point Wastewater Treatment Plant is a great example of the power of partnerships and how federal, state, and tribal resources pay dividends for the health of Puget Sound,” said Casey Sixkiller, EPA Region 10 Regional Administrator. “Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is improving wastewater service to the growing Lummi community while also protecting surrounding shellfish beds critical to the cultural and economic health of the Tribe.”
Specifically, the Alaska Rural and Native Villages Grant Program will receive $39.6 million in FY 2023 through annual appropriation funds. These funds may be used for construction of high priority drinking water and wastewater facilities in rural Alaska, training, technical assistance, and educational programs in support of sustainable water systems.
In addition to household drinking water and wastewater services, tribes may use funds to reduce exposure to emerging contaminants, such as PFAS, and replace lead service lines.
The total amount is EPA’s largest ever investment of annual water infrastructure funding to tribes and Alaska Native Villages. It includes approximately $38 million from a new Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Tribal Grant Program to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS, in drinking water systems serving tribal populations.
EPA will work with tribes, Alaska Native Villages, other federal agencies, and partners on infrastructure needs and resources.
“This funding opportunity isn’t just a great opportunity for our Nation, but a great opportunity for all Tribal Nations that are looking for assistance with tribal water systems,” said Lummi Vice Chairman Terrence Adams. “Tribal people have an important relationship with the water, and we believe that it is our inherent responsibility to take care of the water as it cares for us.”
For more information visit:
- Safe Drinking Water on Tribal Lands
- Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act
- Clean Water Indian Set-Aside Program