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Begich Welcomes USDA Announcement for Rural Water Infrastructure Investment


Begich to Introduce Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at AFN Today

U.S. Senator Mark Begich welcomes today’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that Alaska’s rural communities will receive more than $12 million in funding to improve water and wastewater systems.

Begich will introduce USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today at the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) gathering in Anchorage where Vilsack is expected to formally announce the funding.

“There is no more basic need for families than having access to clean water and I know this funding is welcome news for our rural residents from Bethel to Koyukok,” said Begich. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought hard for investment in rural Alaska infrastructure like ports and harbors, telecommunications infrastructure, and sewer and water systems. I’m glad to see today’s investment by the USDA and look forward to many more in the future.”

Some of the grants awarded today include:

  • $400,000 to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to fund the Remote Maintenance Worker technical assistance program that provides on-site training for water and wastewater operators

  • $73,313 to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) for analysis of pre-development for water and wastewater well testing and a preliminary engineering report for Shageluk.

  • $4,998,399 to construct water and wastewater systems to serve homes in Akiachak.

  • $400,000 to ANTHC for energy audits on small community water and sewer systems.

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