WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today announced funding awards for two critical water projects in Montana. Passed as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which Rehberg helped write as a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, this legislation reduced overall spending while providing additional support for the Rocky Boy/North Central Montana Water Project and the Fort Peck/Dry Prairie Water Project.
“Even as we found ways to tighten the federal government’s belt, by setting priorities and reducing spending in other places, we can find ways to fund these critical projects that will benefit tens of thousands of Montanans,” said Rehberg. “So much of Montana’s economy and quality of life depends clean drinking water. Serving on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee gives Montana a pretty important seat at the table when it comes to funding these priorities.”
Rocky Boy/North Central Montana Water Project – $3.9 Million
The Rocky Boy’s/North Central Water Project is a municipal, rural and industrial water system proposed for an eight county area in north central Montana. It will serve the Rocky Boy’s Reservation and thirteen surrounding communities through a partnership between Montana’s Chippewa Cree Tribe and its non-Tribal Partners in the North Central Montana Regional Water Authority. Poor quality drinking water, major water supply constraints and the high costs for compliance with federal Safe Drinking Water Act regulations established a critical need for funding this project. In fact, some of the affected communities are already under federal mandate to improve their drinking water systems and others are on boil orders. The North Central Water Project will deliver water to roughly 30,000 Montanans. The project will also provide infrastructure to pipe water to the Rocky Boy’s Reservation.
Fort Peck/Dry Prairie Water Project – $9 Million
The funds will be used by the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes to complete their regional water treatment plant and extend the main transmission pipelines to Poplar and Wolf Point. Treated water that reaches Poplar will serve the third largest community in the project and replace existing water supplies threatened by Brine Plume contamination. The Project, as authorized by Congress in 2000, calls for the water to be diverted from the Missouri River at a single location south of Poplar, MT, to an intake system or an infiltration gallery. After treatment, it will serve both tribal and off-reservation communities that desperately need a clean water supply.