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Written by The Herald-News Friday, 17 February 2012 10:20
The U.S. Department of Interior has directed $9 million toward the Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System.
The project will enable the Fort Peck Tribes to complete the mainline pipeline from Brockton to the Big Muddy to facilitate the delivery of water to Dry Prairie Rural Water Authority customers.
The funds will also allow for the completion of the mainline from Big Muddy to Culbertson so that a sufficient amount of water from the new treatment plant will be delivered to Dry Prairie customers.
The Interior Department also directed $3.9 million for the Rocky Boy/North Central Montana Rural Water System.
That funding will allow the Chippewa Cree Tribe to complete a portion of the pipeline installation for the Rocky Boy’s rural water system. It will also help to provide an interim water system to three areas in Montana as part of the North Central Montana Rural Water System.
In December, the U.S. Senate passed legislation spending $50 million on ongoing water resource related-projects nationwide, including $30 million specifically for drinking water projects in rural states.
The Interior Department announced Feb. 8 Montana would receive nearly $13 million of the total $30 million for rural drinking water project construction.
U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D- Mont., said he worked to ensure that $30 million of the funding budget for water projects was dedicated specifically for rural states.
Baucus said he wrote Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in January to make sure Montana’s projects received a share of that funding.
“Access to safe, clean water is critical to making sure Montana stays the best place on earth to live, work and raise a family,” Baucus said. “This smart investment is a good step that will create jobs right now building the clean water infrastructure Montana communities need to grow and attract new businesses down the road. Still, there is more work to be done and I will keep fighting every step of the way until we get these projects completed.”