WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small announced that the Pueblo of Laguna was awarded $3,242,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development for three projects to renovate and improve wastewater infrastructure in Seama Village, Paquate Village, and New Laguna Village.
The funding will help modernize the Pueblo of Laguna’s wastewater systems, eliminating the use of septic tanks and connecting residents to sewer services. The projects will benefit 1,241 residents in the area while enabling surrounding lands to be used for residential use because sewer infrastructure will exist.
“Access to reliable, clean water is fundamental to protecting public health and promoting shared prosperity for rural communities across New Mexico. But like many Native communities, the Pueblo of Laguna is saddled with outdated water and waste disposal systems that pose a threat to public health,” said Udall, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “This critical funding from USDA will help modernize wastewater infrastructure for Laguna Pueblo, benefiting over a thousand residents and promoting the community’s future growth. As a member of the subcommittee that oversees USDA funding, I’ll keep fighting for strong federal investment in infrastructure and rural development for communities across New Mexico and Indian Country."
“In the face of growing water demands and drought-based uncertainty, investing in these infrastructure projects is critical to the health and resiliency of our rural communities,” said Heinrich. “I congratulate Laguna Pueblo for securing these funds from USDA to modernize their wastewater systems and will continue to fight for resources, infrastructure investments, and forward-looking policies that support long-term, sustainable use of precious and limited water resources.”
“It’s important communities across New Mexico are provided with all the resources they need to stay safe and healthy, including access to reliable, clean water. However, many tribal communities have been burdened with antiquated wastewater systems that put their members’ health at risk. That is why I am pleased that Laguna Pueblo is receiving the funding they need to address a top public health concern. With the assistance of USDA, they will be able to modernize their waste disposal system, resulting in the improved health of over a thousand residents,” said Torres Small.
USDA Rural Development awarded funding for the following three projects:
- $986,000 to install sewer lines and a lift-station in Seama Village, which will connect homes to the wastewater system and eliminate the need for individual and community septic systems in some areas
- $925,000 to install sewer lines in Paguate Village, which treat wastewater in a community lagoon and eliminate the need for onsite septic system and collection
- $1,331,000 to install sewer lines and a lift station in New Laguna Village, providing sewer services to homes and enabling surrounding lands to be used for residential use