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Federal Infrastructure Task Force to Improve Access to Safe Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation to Tribal Communities

On This Page:

I. Background: Goals, Purpose and Current Membership:

At the 2000 World Summit on Sustainable Development the United States agreed to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals including improving access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

In 2007 a multi-agency tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF) was created to develop and coordinate federal activities in delivering water infrastructure, wastewater infrastructure and solid waste management services to tribal communities.  In 2013 the Task Force partners renewed their commitment by renegotiating the multi-party Memorandum of Understanding (see link below).

The federal partners include:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of the Interior


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II. ITF Products

  1. Preliminary Engineering Report
  2. Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems for Tribal Communities
  3. Tribal Resource Directory Matrix of Federal Assistance for Water and Wastewater Treatment Services

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III. Workgroup Documents & Reports

  1. Summary of Commonalities and Best Practices from Tribal Utilities
  2. Application Processes and Recommended Paperwork Streamlining Opportunities
    1. Progress in Addressing Recommendations
  3. Tribal Solid Waste Management 

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IV. Partner Agency Infrastructure Programs

A goal of the Tribal ITF is to ensure communications across ITF member agency programs at both the headquarters and local office levels. To encourage coordination, Tribal ITF agencies have released the following memorandum directing additional coordination between our agencies:  Tribal ITF Collaboration Letter Feb 27, 2020 (3 pp. 338 K)

  1. US Environmental Protection Agency
    1. EPA Drinking Water Infrastructure Grant Tribal Set Aside Program
    2. EPA Clean Water Indian Set Aside Program
  2. Indian Health Service (IHS)
    1. Sanitation Deficiency System Guide for Reporting Sanitation Deficiencies for Indian Homes and CommunitiesExit
    2. Criteria for the Sanitation Facilities Construction ProgramExit
    3. IHS Program ContactsExit
  3. US Department of Agriculture
    1. USDA Rural Development (RD) Native American TribesExit
    2. USDA RD Program Contacts Exit
  4. US Department of Housing and Urban Development
    1. HUD Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) Exit
    2. HUD ONAP Contacts Exit
  5. US Department of Interior
    1. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Exit
    2. BIA Contacts Exit

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V. Historical ITF Documents

  1. Meeting Summaries
  2. Select Accomplishments
  3. Progress to Date: Meeting the Access Goal
  4. Response to Access Subgroup Report
  5. Meeting the Access Goal: Strategies for Increasing Access to Safe Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment to American Indian and Alaska Native Villages
  6. National Environmental Policy Act Requirements
  7. Map of Water Infrastructure and Homes Without Access to Safe Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation on the Navajo Nation
  8. Strategies for Improving Technical Assistance Delivery in American Indian and Alaska Native Village Communities

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Federal Partner Contacts:

  • US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    Water and Environmental Program
    Steven Polacek, Policy Coordinator, 202-205-9805
  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    Office of Native American Programs, Office of Grant Evaluation
    Gary A. Nemec, Director, (202) 402-2988
  • US Department of Health and Human Services
    Indian Health Service (IHS), Sanitation Facilities Construction Program
    Mark Calkins, Director, (301) 443-1046
  • US Department of the Interior (DOI)
    Indian Affairs, Office of Facilities, Property and Safety Management
    Judy Wilson, Director, (703) 390-6314
  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    Office of Water, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
    Jennifer McLain, Director, (202) 564 4029

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