Skip to Content
Resize Text:      A A
Sep 28, 2021

Tester Urges Treasury to Make Critical Montana Water Projects Eligible for Rescue Plan Funds

Senator: “Allowing funds to go towards the construction and rehabilitation of dams and reservoirs reflects Congressional intent to fund necessary water projects for public health and safety, the environment, and rural economies"

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues in urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to make critical Montana water projects eligible for funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Tester secured $1.89 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for Montana in ARPA. But, Tester wrote in a letter, as communities across the west respond to and recover from historic drought, dam and reservoir projects like the Milk River Project should be included in the water infrastructure portion of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Final Rule to provide relief and maintain an adequate water supply. Currently, only specific projects related to drinking water are eligible for relief funds.

“Rural communities across the West still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 are now dealing with severe drought highlighting the importance of reliable water supply. Dams and reservoirs are the lifelines of many communities – providing municipal water supply, irrigation to farm land, food security, and sustaining wildlife,” Tester and his colleagues wrote. “Allowing funds to go towards the construction and rehabilitation of dams and reservoirs reflects Congressional intent to fund necessary water projects for public health and safety, the environment, and rural economies to mitigate the impacts of COVID and drought.”

Tester first called on Yellen to add flexibility and make critical water infrastructure projects eligible for ARPA funds in May, and he also secured language in the bipartisan infrastructure package to allow ARPA funding to be used for the nonfederal costshare requirement for Bureau of Reclamation projects like the St. Mary’s Diversion Dam, which would be critical for rehabilitating St. Mary’s with its current 74 percent nonfederal costshare.

Tester has been leading the fight to increase investments in the Milk River Project since his time serving in the Montana Legislature, and included up to $100 million in dedicated funding to rehabilitate the Milk River Project as a part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill he negotiated with the White House to make urgently-needed investments in Montana’s roads, bridges, water systems and high-speed internet.

The Milk River Project provides water to 18,000 Montanans and irrigates enough cropland to feed one million people.

Read Tester’s letter HERE.

 

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

Home   |   Meet Jon   |   Services   |   Newsroom   |   Legislation   |   Contact   |   Privacy