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Tribal Portal turtle logoInfrastructure Task Force to Improve Access to Safe Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation in Indian country

Ribbon cutting ceremony  for an ARRA funded wastewater treatment plant expansion project for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians , December 2009.
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Construction of a wastewater lift station, sewer line and & force main for the Alaskan Native Village of Buckland , September 2009.
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New drinking water storage tank to address water quality and quantity issues for the Hopi Tribe, 2009.
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In 2000 the United States made commitments at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and agreed to support a United Nations Millennium Development Goal to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation around the world. As a result of this commitment, the US is addressing the lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian Country by reducing the number of tribal homes without access by 50% by 2015 (Access Goal).

An Infrastructure Task Force (“Task Force”) to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian country was formed in 2003. The federal partners of the Task Force are the US Department of Agriculture (Rural Development - USDA-RD), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Indian Health Service, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the US Department of the Interior (Bureau of Indian Affairs - BIA). The Task Force came into effect on June 2007 following the signature by the Department Secretaries of two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to develop strategies to help achieve the access goal.

All federal partners renewed their commitment to the Task Force in 2013 through signing an MOU to continue federal coordination in delivering water infrastructure, wastewater infrastructure and solid waste management services to tribal communities. The Task Force will build on prior partner successes, including improved access to funding and reduced administrative burden for tribal communities through the review and streamlining of agency policies, regulations, and directives as well as improved coordination of technical assistance to water service providers and solid waste managers through regular coordination meetings and web-based tools.

The lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian Country continues to threaten the public health of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. According to 2010 data from the Indian Health Service (IHS), approximately 12% of AI/AN homes do not have safe water and/or basic sanitation facilities.

The following documents have been developed to document ITF past accomplishments, current activities, and proposed strategies to address access to water and sanitation services on AI/AN lands.

Guidelines

Infrastructure Task Force - Published Reports:

  1. 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) (6 pp, 1.32Mb, About PDF)

  2. Access Subgroup Report – March 2008 (PDF) (34 pp, 391K, About PDF)

  3. Infrastructure Task Force response to Access Subgroup Report – October 2009 (PDF) (8 pp, 1.7Mb, About PDF)

  4. Appendix C Access Subgroup Report (PDF) (15 pp, 7.8Mb, About PDF)

  5. Tribal Access Workgroup Report: Strategies for Improving Technical Assistance Delivery in AI and ANV Communities – March 2010 (PDF) (20 pp, 208K, About PDF)

  6. Tribal Access Workgroup Report: Mapping of Water Infrastructure and Homes without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation on the Navajo Nation – October 2010 (30 pp, 4.7Mb, About PDF)

  7. Navajo Nation Access Home Final Map – October 2010 (PDF) (1 pg, 2.5Mb, About PDF)

  8. Meeting the Access Goal Progress to Date: Implementation of Strategies for Increasing Access to Safe Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation to American Indian and Alaska Native Homes – December 2010 (PDF) (13 pp, 207K, About PDF)

  9. Overview of Tribal Water Infrastructure Funding Application Processes and Recommended Paperwork Streamlining Opportunities - February 2011 (PDF) (52 pp, 1433K, About PDF)

  10. ITF Federal Partners Steering Committee Sustainable Infrastructure Goal and Concept Document - November 30, 2011 (PDF) (4 pp. 113KB,  About PDF)

  11. June 2012 - ITF Members Bios (PDF) (18 pp, 461K, About PDF)

  12. Commonalities and Best Practices for Tribal Utility Sustainability (PDF) (2 pp, 21K,  About PDF)

  13. ITF Accomplishments and Current Activities (PDF) (2 pp, 1.10Mb,  About PDF)

Infrastructure Task Force - Meetings Summaries:

  1. June 30, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (10 pp, 118K, About PDF)

  2. September 7, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (9 pp, 70K, About PDF)

  3. October 20, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (10 pp, 132K, About PDF)

  4. November 3, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary" (PDF) (12 pp, 56K,  About PDF)

  5. December 20, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary" (PDF) (12 pp, 220K,  About PDF)

  6. January 18, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary" (PDF) (11 pp, 108K,  About PDF)

  7. March 21, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary" (PDF) (11 pp, 139K,  About PDF)

  8. May 16, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary" (PDF) (12 pp, 54K,  About PDF)

  9. May 16, 2012 - Multi-Agency Tribal Infrastructure Collaborative (MATIC) presentation (PDF) (28 pp, 1.8MB,  About PDF)

  10. September 19, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (9 pp, 60K,  About PDF)

  11. February 14, 2013 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (10 pp, 99K,  About PDF)

For more information please contact one of the Federal partner representatives or assignees:

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Water and Environmental Program
Jacki Ponti, Assistant Administrator; email: jacki.ponti@wdc.usda.gov, 202-690-2670

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Office of Native American Programs, Office of Grant Evaluation
Jennifer Bullough, Director; email: Jennifer.A.Bullough@hud.gov; (202) 402-4274

US Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service (IHS)
Sanitation Facilities Construction Program
Ronald Ferguson, Director, email: Ronald.Ferguson@ihs.gov; (301) 443-1046

US Department of the Interior (DOI)
Indian Affairs
Mike Black, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Director, email: mike.black@bia.gov; (202) 208-5116

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
Office of Water, Office of Wastewater Management
Sheila Frace; Division Director, email: Frace.Sheila@epa.gov; (202) 564-0749


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