© 2022 KLCC

KLCC
136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-463-6000
klcc@klcc.org

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Wyden And Merkley Press For Better Water For Regional Tribes

mrjn_photography_unsplash.jpg
mrjn photography
/
Unsplash

A bill introduced by Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden aims to improve water access and quality for Native American tribes.

The Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act would authorize the EPA to fund 10 water improvement projects per year for tribes in the Columbia River Basin, and adjacent basins. It’d also increase annual funding for the Indian Reservation Drinking Water program from $20 million to $30 million a year.

“Reservations are in rural areas, lot of the water systems are not in good shape," says Rob Greene, an attorney for the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde. "And there hasn’t been the kind of investment there should have been in making sure that people have safe drinking water, that there’s water for fire support.

"The Indian Health Service said that native people are nine times more likely to lack access to safe water than the rest of the population.”

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has recently held a hearing on the legislation.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Related Content