Aug 19, 2016

Hopi Tribe to Lower Arsenic in Cultural Center Drinking Water

U.S. EPA administrative order requires tribe to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act

drinking water, arsenic, hopi tribe, bottled water, cultural center

The Hopi Tribe has agreed to reduce the levels of arsenic in the drinking water at the Hopi Cultural Center, a public drinking water system that serves approximately 25 people.

Under the terms of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) administrative order, the Hopi Tribe is required to develop a schedule to comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’s arsenic standard within two months. Within six months, the tribe must install treatment technology to begin reducing arsenic in the center’s water. Before complying with the arsenic standard, the tribe will provide bottled water to guests. The tribe must also conduct more robust sampling for arsenic, report all arsenic results to EPA and comply with public notification requirements.   

Arsenic, a naturally occurring mineral found throughout the U.S., can be found in groundwater and is a known carcinogen. Drinking high levels of arsenic over many years can increase the chances of lung, bladder, and skin cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes and neurological damage. Arsenic inhibits the body’s ability to fight off cancer and other diseases.

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