Tester Delivers More Than $5 Million to Relocate Plains Wastewater System

Funding will help Plains move wastewater treatment facility, protect Clark Fork River in case of flooding

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today delivered more than $5 million to help Plains relocate its wastewater treatment facility. The current facility sits near the bank of the Clark Fork River and is at risk of ‘catastrophic’ failure due to erosion and flooding.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) grant is worth $5,148,500, which is 89 percent of the total project cost, and will help build a new wastewater treatment plant that sits off the floodplain and out of danger. Tester wrote a letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor in January urging support for the project, writing that Plains would not be able to move its facility to a safer location without help.

“Clean water is integral to our health, our livelihoods, and our economy here in Montana,” Tester said. “Protecting clean water is one of the smartest investments we can make, and I am proud to have helped secure this grant to help Plains move its wastewater treatment plant out of harm’s way and make sure it remains secure for years to come.”

In 2018 a five-year flood event surrounded the current facility, causing Plains to proactively work to relocate the facility before another flood causes a disaster. Tester has worked diligently to supply Montana’s water and wastewater systems with the funding needed to stay up-to-date. Earlier this year, he secured $335,000 for Wolf Point and $533,000 for Scobey to upgrade outdated water mains. He secured nearly $3 million for Whitehall, Sweet Grass County, Whitefish, Cascade County, Seeley Lake, Sanders County, and Toole County, and $7 million to upgrade wastewater systems in Hardin.

Tester’s letter urging support for the grant is available HERE.