Tester and Baucus secure funding for energy and water projects
Funding is for critical infrastructure investments and energy research
(GREAT FALLS, Mont.) – Montana will receive significant funding to invest in critical energy and water infrastructure thanks to a bill expected to be approved by the Senate in the coming days, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus announced today.
Tester was chosen to negotiate a final version of the Energy and Water Appropriations Act as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Negotiators from the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives agreed on the final version, which includes more than $65 million for Montana energy and water projects.
Both Tester and Baucus plan to vote for the final bill. The measure already passed the House.
“We’re in the home stretch for getting Montana this money to pay for much needed projects like water infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy technology development,” said Tester, who serves on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. “I’m proud to support these kinds of projects because these investments will pay us back for generations.”
“These are critical projects for Montana because they are investments in good-paying jobs,” said Baucus, who worked closely with Tester in securing Montana’s funding. “I’ll always do my part to make sure essential projects get funding so that Montanans can have access to safe, reliable and clean water.”
The projects for Montana include:
- The St. Mary Project in north central Montana will receive funding to help address water supply, use, and management-related water issues in north central Montana. This money will start the much-overdue process to begin rehabilitation of the canal. ($3.5 million)
- Fort Peck-Dry Prairie Rural Water System will receive funding to serve the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, as well as Valley, Daniels, Sheridan and Roosevelt counties. Once completed, the project will deliver treated water from the Missouri River through 3,200 miles of pipeline to 31,000 people in northeast Montana. ($8 million)
- The Rocky Boy's-North Central Montana Regional Water Authority will receive funding to deliver clean, safe drinking water to more than 50,000 people who live across north-central Montana. The project will eventually deliver treated water from Lake Elwell to the Chippewa Cree Tribe and 22 public water systems. Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation is currently experiencing severe shortages of clean water. ($9 million)
- The Montana Wind Turbine Development project at Montana State University will receive funding to research and develop wind turbine technology for electricity production. ($1 million) The Montana Algal BioDiesel Initiative, also at Montana State University, will receive funding to develop technology to turn algae into biodiesel. ($500,000) Montana State University-Northern in Havre will receive funding to support the bio-energy industry in Montana through research and education. ($2.25 million)
After the Senate approves the final bill, it will go to the White House for President Obama to sign into law.
Below is a complete list of Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus in the Energy and Water Appropriations Act:
Final Energy and Water Appropriations Bill
St. Mary Project: $3.5 million
Montana State University:
- Montana Algal BioDiesel Initiative to develop technology to turn algae into biodiesel – $500,000.
- Montana Wind Turbine Development project to research and develop wind turbine technology for electricity production – $1 million.
- Center for Zero Emissions Research and Technology to develop clean energy production – $3 million.
Montana State University-Northern: $2.25 million for the Bio-Energy Center for Excellence support the bio-energy industry in Montana through research.
Montana Physical Science Foundation: $500,000 for biomass research.
Rocky Boy's-North Central Montana Regional Water Authority: $9 million
Fort Peck-Dry Prairie Rural Water System: $8 million
Rural Montana Water Projects: $4.844 million for projects around the state.
Bureau of Reclamation Projects:
- Montana Investigations Program: $133,000
- Huntley Water Project: $83,000
- Lower Yellowstone Project: $519,000
- Milk River Project: $1.725 million
- Sun River Project: $362,000
- Hungry Horse Dam Project: $1.791 million to upgrade the dam
Army Corps of Engineer Projects:
- Fort Peck Dam and Lake: $6.045 million to upgrade dam and area infrastructure
- Nashua Flood Risk Assessment: $55,000
- Jordan Flood Mitigation: $80,000
- Libby Dam: $1.851 million
- Inspection of Completed Works: $109,000
- Scheduling Reservoir operations: $138,000
- Missouri River: $18 million to repair the Intake Dam on the Yellowstone River.
Fort Peck Cabin Conveyance: $969,000 to continue assessments, surveys, and appraisals to transfer cabin sites to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Yellowstone River Study: $179,000 for a restoration study.
Baucus also included $1.25 million for the Crow Tribe’s Coal to Liquid Demonstration project.