Tester Secures Nearly $23 Million for Clean Drinking Water in Montana

Funding comes from the Senator’s bipartisan infrastructure law

As a direct result of his bipartisan infrastructure law, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured $22,985,000 for the Montana Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which will work to improve infrastructure for clean drinking water across Montana.

This funding comes from Tester’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Tester worked with five Republicans and four Democrats to negotiate the IIJA and was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote for the bill.

“Ensuring every Montanan has access to clean, reliable drinking water is a no-brainer, and is something I was proud to champion in my bipartisan infrastructure law,” said Tester. “The recent catastrophic failure at the St. Mary Canal has made it clearer than ever that Montana’s water infrastructure is in critical need of serious improvements, and I’m proud to see this funding from my bipartisan infrastructure law work to ensure water infrastructure across the state is in tip-top shape.”

Following a major siphon burst last month on the Milk River Project near Babb, Montana, Tester took to the Senate floor to successfully pass the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC) Water Rights Settlement Act which would provide critical funding for repairs on the Milk River Project.

After the St. Mary canal siphon burst, Senator Tester called on the Biden Administration to provide immediate support for the local community, small businesses, and irrigators impacted by the failure, which caused thousands of gallons of water to flood the surrounding area. The siphon burst has already caused extensive damage to local businesses, and will impact vital irrigation to farmland in the surrounding area. Tester also called on President Biden to include the Milk River Project in his Administration’s domestic supplemental package, which would make federal funding available to assist in the reconstruction of the St. Mary canal.

In direct response to pressure from Tester, the Biden Administration announced last week that it is committed to including critical aid for repairs along the Milk River Project and the St. Mary siphon burst in a key domestic supplemental spending package.

Tester has worked tirelessly to ensure that rural communities have access to modern, reliable water infrastructure. In total in the IIJA, Tester secured approximately $194 million for the Rocky Boys/North Central Water System, approximately $56 million for the Musselshell-Judith Water System, and approximately $17 million for the Fort Peck/Dry Prairie Water System. He also secured up to $100 million for rehabilitating the Milk River Project.

Tester secured significant wins for Montana in the IIJA, including $2.82 billion for Montana’s roads, highways and bridges; $2.5 billion to complete all authorized Indian water rights settlements; $1 billion to complete all authorized rural water projects through the Bureau of Reclamation; $65 billion to deploy broadband to areas across the country that lack internet access and additionally make online connectivity affordable; and $3.37 billion to reduce wildfire risk nationwide, among others. Tester also worked to ensure that all iron, steel, and construction materials used for these projects must be made in America.

A full list of Montana provisions in Tester’s bipartisan infrastructure law can be found HERE.