2 Pine Ridge dams to get repairs from infrastructure deal
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A pair of dams on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota will get safety repairs with part of $29 million in funding from the federal infrastructure deal, the Department of the Interior announced Wednesday.
Both the Oglala Dam and Allen Dam are high-hazard, meaning lives could be lost if they failed. They have also needed repairs for years. The Oglala Dam was built in the 1940s, while the Allen Dam was completed in 1961.
An Associated Press analysis has tallied more than 2,200 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition across the country.
Two other dams — on the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona and the Crow Reservation in Montana — will also get a share of the $29 million. It’s part of $150 million that will be used for repairs to six dams over the next five years.
Last year’s $1 trillion bi-partisan infrastructure deal was a priority for President Joe Biden. It included $13 billion for Native American communities.
“In addition to the resources we have allocated for irrigation power systems and water sanitation systems in Indian Country, today’s announcement will further safeguard Tribal water supplies, supporting families and communities,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in a statement.
This story has been corrected to show that the name of the American Indian reservation in Montana where a dam will receive funding is the Crow Reservation, not the Crow Creek Reservation.