[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 209 (Thursday, October 29, 1998)]
[Notices]
[Page 58047]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-28362]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-6179-1]


Final Guidelines for Implementation of the Drinking Water 
Infrastructure Grants Tribal Set-Aside Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of availability of final guidelines.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released Final 
Guidelines for the Drinking Water Infrastructure Grants Tribal Set-
Aside (DWIG TSA) program (EPA 816-R-98-020). The Tribal Set-Aside 
Program was established as a result of the reauthorized Safe Drinking 
Water Act (SDWA), signed by President Clinton on August 6, 1996. 
Section 1452 of the SDWA authorizes a Drinking Water State Revolving 
Loan Fund (DWSRF) similar to a fund for wastewater treatment systems 
that has been in place under the Clean Water Act for several years. The 
SDWA also authorizes EPA to set aside up to 1\1/2\ percent of the 
amounts annually appropriated to carry out section 1452 for grants to 
Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages. The SDWA directs EPA to use 
these funds for infrastructure improvements to public drinking water 
systems that serve Indian Tribes.
    EPA first received federal funds for section 1452 in its FY1997 
Appropriation Bill. EPA received $1.275 billion in FY1997, and $725 
million in FY1998 for the programs authorized by section 1452. Of these 
amounts, 1\1/2\ percent (the maximum allowed by law) has been set aside 
for the Tribal program--$19,125,000 in fiscal year 1997 and $10,875,000 
in fiscal year 1998.
    These funds and each future year's Tribal Set-Aside Program funds 
will be allotted, by formula (which is described in the Final 
Guidelines), among the nine EPA Regional offices with Tribal programs. 
In consultation with the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Tribes in 
their Region, each EPA Region will identify potential projects, 
prioritize those projects, and select the ones to receive funding from 
its share of the Set-Aside Program allotment. The EPA Regions will then 
award and administer the funds. Each Regional office will give the 
Tribes in their Region an opportunity to review and comment on the 
Regional program as they develop it, and once developed, will consult 
with the IHS and the Tribes in their Region regarding annual project 
selections.
    The Final Guidelines explain how the Tribal Set-Aside Program will 
be implemented; outline who is eligible to receive funds from the 
program; and list the types of projects that are eligible and 
ineligible to be funded with DWIG TSA monies. Within the conditions and 
allowances described in the Final Guidelines, the EPA Regions will have 
flexibility in designing a program that works best for the Tribes in 
their Region.
    Copies of the Final Guidelines have been sent to every Indian Tribe 
currently recognized and eligible for funding and services from the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs.

DATES: The Guidelines become effective on October 29, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final Guidelines are available through the 
Safe Drinking Water Act Hotline, telephone (800) 426-4791, and from the 
Office of Water Resource Center (RC4100), U.S. EPA, 401 M Street, SW, 
Washington, DC 20460. A single copy of the document can be picked up at 
the Resource Center in Room 2615 of the Waterside Mall at the address 
above. The Center is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through 
Friday. The Guidelines may also be obtained from the EPA Web Site at 
the URL address ``http://www.epa.gov/safewater/tribes.html''.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Safe Drinking Water Hotline, 
telephone (800) 426-4791. For technical inquiries, contact Ray Enyeart, 
Drinking Water Implementation and Assistance Division, Office of Ground 
Water and Drinking Water, U.S. EPA, (4606), 401 M Street SW, 
Washington, DC 20460, telephone (202) 260-5551.

    Authority: Pub. L. 104-182.
Cynthia C. Dougherty,
Director, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.
[FR Doc. 98-28362 Filed 10-28-98; 8:45 am]
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