The funding will go towards water infrastructure projects and reducing arsenic in drinking
EPA made the announcement at the Pacific Southwest Region’s 26th Annual Tribal/EPA Conference held in San Francisco, hosted by the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians.
“This vital funding helps tribes provide safe drinking water to their communities and maintain important environmental programs” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “These grants have significant impacts on the environment and quality of life on tribal lands.”
EPA awarded $13.7 million to tribes in Arizona to support projects on water quality monitoring, watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, and wastewater recycling and treatment. Tribes in Arizona will also use EPA funding to clean up open dumps, develop programs to monitor, protect and improve air quality, and ensure public awareness of these efforts. Another $13 million will fund Indian Health Service support of tribal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, plant operator training and technical assistance.
Examples of work being funded:
The Hopi Tribe will use $3 million to fund the Hopi Arsenic Mitigation Project (HAMP) to reduce arsenic in drinking water at four villages currently out of compliance with arsenic drinking water standards. The HAMP will serve approximately 6,500 residents and include the construction of over 32 miles of waterlines, four new water storage tanks and two pumping stations.
The Navajo Nation will use $1 million to install arsenic treatment at the Aneth public water system, which serves 392 tribal homes. This project will provide drinking water that meets arsenic standards for nearly 1,500 people.
The Tohono O’odham Nation will use $599,900 to expand pollution prevention and recycling programs to six remote areas of the reservation, develop a waste reduction strategy for community events, pilot a compost project with local schools, monitor closed dumpsites, and purchase monitoring equipment to gather air quality data.