FORT YATES, ND, Sep 13, 2012 -- Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Tribal Relations Janie Hipp announced in North Dakota that USDA will fund a water quality project to rehabilitate and expand a failing sewage treatment system serving members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
“The current system is inadequate, failing and well past it’s design life,” said Hipp. “This project builds on the commitment of the Obama Administration and Secretary Tom Vilsack to improve the quality of services being provided to Native Americans and Alaska Natives. This project will greatly improve public health, and allow for future expansion of homes and businesses in the area.”
The Tribe will receive a $1 million grant which will be used to rehabilitate and expand an existing lagoon treatment system and construct a 24 acre wetland. The new system will meet Environmental Protection Agency standards and replace a deteriorating 40-year old lift station. The Tribe received $150,000 in design funds from USDA for the project in 2011.
Hipp noted that USDA Rural Development has invested in several projects on the Reservation since President Obama took office in 2009. Highlights include over $600,000 to expand and improve Sitting Bull College, and an additional $200,000 in funds to promote the establishment of small businesses and promote economic development.
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of Native Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in tribal communities. At USDA, Secretary Vilsack has worked at President Obama's direction to deepen and strengthen our relationships with tribal communities and tribal governments. Vilsack has named – for the first time ever at USDA – a Senior Advisor on Tribal Relations who reports directly to him.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.