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

On May 31, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced actions to improve access to safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater services for American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, including the renewal of the Tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF). The ITF was first created in 2007 and is meant to improve coordination between federal agencies on water, wastewater, and sanitation projects in Indian Country. EPA and other federal partners renewed the ITF to provide members with a focused platform for coordination and communication as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) initiatives are implemented.

The Agency also released a new funding memorandum to guide the distribution of $154 million for Tribes and Alaska Native Villages through the BIL. The memo outlines requirements and recommendations for the Tribal Set-Asides of the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds. Additionally, EPA announced the availability of $2.6 million in funding under the Agency’s Tribal Small, Underserved, and Disadvantaged Communities (SUDC) Grant program. EPA’s news release highlights that these funding commitments “will help accelerate needed progress to improve public health and environmental protections for historically underserved communities.”