March 11, 2010

Udall: San Ildefonso Pueblo Receives $783,000 to Improve Drinking Water Safety

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., today announced that San Ildefonso Pueblo will receive $783,000 to improve drinking water treatment facilities and the associated distribution system for the Pajarito Village and Battleship Mesa.

The funding, part of the Drinking Water Infrastructure Grants Tribal Set-Aside program through the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), will also be used to upgrade the drinking water system for the Main Village and Black Mesa.

"Safe drinking water is imperative to the safety and prosperity of a community and this funding will give San Ildefonso the ability to improve water quality and protect the public health of its residents," said Udall, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee.

Upon completion, the project will improve public health and environmental safety for the Pueblo's approximately 1,400 residents, including the reduction of arsenic in drinking water. Arsenic is a naturally occurring groundwater contaminant in several areas of New Mexico.

The Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended in 1996, established the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to make monies available to drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The Act also authorized EPA to set aside an amount available for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for grants to improve the infrastructure of drinking water systems that serve Indian tribes. Through this authority, EPA established the Drinking Water Infrastructure Grants Tribal Set-Aside Program.

The Senate EPW Committee helps oversee the EPA.