EPA Announces Actions to Improve Drinking Water & Wastewater Services for Tribes & Alaska Native Villages

June 8, 2022

These actions will include the renewal of the Tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing actions to improve access to safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater services for American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages.

According to the news release, these actions will include the renewal of the Tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF), which "was created to develop and coordinate federal activities in delivering water infrastructure, wastewater infrastructure and solid waste management services to tribal communities."

ITF will provide members with a focused platform for coordination and communication, and according to EPA, the new funding memorandum will guide the distribution of $154 million in FY22 Tribal water infrastructure funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

“With President Biden’s leadership, EPA is committed to supporting Tribes and working to ensure that these communities have clean and safe water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The agency will deepen its collaboration with federal partners and bring strategic resources to address these longstanding challenges. With funding through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will accelerate investment in water infrastructure that is essential to healthy communities.”

There is also $154 million for Tribes and Alaska Native Villages through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and an additional $2.6 million under the agency’s Small, Underserved, and Disadvantaged Communities (SUDC) Grant program, reported the news release.

"The memo is a key implementation step that outlines requirements and recommendations for the Tribal Set-Asides of the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds to ensure access to safe drinking water and wastewater management in Tribal communities," stated the news release. "Eligible projects include replacing lead pipes and addressing PFAS and other emerging contaminants. In addition, EPA is announcing the availability of $2.6 million in funding from the Tribal Small, Underserved, and Disadvantaged Communities (SUDC) Grant program."

The actions will support the October 2021 EPA Office of Water Action Plan titled Strengthening our Nation-to-Nation Relationship with Tribes to Secure a Sustainable Water Future.

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