WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Indian Health Service (IHS) is launching a new interactive website to provide information on Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In 2022, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law appropriated $3.5 billion to the Indian Health Service from fiscal year (FY) 2022 through fiscal year 2026 to build the infrastructure necessary to ensure a safe supply of drinking water, reliable sewage systems, and solid waste disposal facilities.
“This new interactive website demonstrates the Indian Health Service’s commitment to transparency and reporting on progress to complete projects that support improved public health for American Indian and Alaska Native homes and communities,” said IHS Director Roselyn Tso. “The projects funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are critical to improving clean water and sanitation systems in tribal communities throughout Indian Country.”
IHS will maintain and regularly update the information and data included on the website, which includes project funding amounts, tribes served and number of homes served, as well as project statuses. Originally announced in May 2022, the FY 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will provide 68,000 American Indian and Alaska Native homes with critical services like water wells, onsite wastewater disposal systems and connections to community water supply and wastewater disposal systems. Improvements to sanitation facilities can reduce inpatient and outpatient visits related to respiratory, skin and soft tissue, and gastroenteric disease. Every $1 spent on water and sewer infrastructure can save $1.23 in avoided direct health care costs.
Funding allocation decisions aligned with recommendations from tribal leaders to prioritize funding for projects that have completed the planning phase and can be immediately placed into the design and construction phase, and to provide sufficient funding for planning and design activities to get projects ready for funding.
The nationwide Sanitation Facilities Construction Program is responsible for the delivery of environmental engineering services and sanitation facilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives, providing homes and communities with essential water supply, sewage disposal, and solid waste disposal facilities. The program provides technical and financial assistance to American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages for cooperative development and construction of safe water, wastewater, and solid waste systems and related support facilities.
The program is also part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which ensures that disadvantaged communities receive 40 percent of the overall benefits of new and existing federal investments to advance environmental justice.
The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states.