Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
EPA Grants Helping to Eliminate Childhood Lead Poisoning in Indian Country
The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in Nevada utilized EPA tribal lead grant funding to dentify potential lead-based paint hazards at pre-1978 tribal housing and pre-1978 child-occupied facilities. EPA commends the work of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and other tribes for significant efforts in helping to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in America.
EPA’s tribal partners in Arizona, California and Nevada have made significant progress in working to substantially eliminate childhood lead poisoning as a major health threat. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authorizes EPA to award grant funds to Federally-recognized Indian Tribes and tribal consortia to help achieve this.
From 2000-2010, EPA awarded TSCA grants to the following 16 Federally-recognized Tribes and tribal consortia in Arizona, California and Nevada:
- Big Valley Rancheria (CA)
- Colorado River Indian Tribes (AZ-CA)
- Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe (NV)
- Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (CA)
- Gila River Indian Community (AZ)
- Hoopa Valley Tribe (CA)
- Hopi Tribe (AZ)
- Hopland Band of Pomo Indians (CA)
- Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona (AZ)
- North Fork Rancheria (CA)
- Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (NV)
- Soboba Band of Luiseno Mission Indians (CA)
- South Fork Band of the Te-Moak Tribe
of Western Shoshone (NV)
- Washoe Tribe (NV-CA)
- Yavapai-Prescott Tribe (AZ)
- Yurok Tribe (CA)
These TSCA grants provide funding to enable the Tribes to accomplish three main objectives:
- inform tribal community members on health hazards associated with exposure to lead, especially health risks from exposure to lead-based paint;
- screen children between 18 months old to 72 months old to identify elevated blood lead levels; and
- conduct lead hazard evaluations at pre-1978 tribal housing and pre-1978 child-occupied tribal facilities to reduce potential health risks associated with exposure to lead-based paint.
- The Colorado River Indian Tribes conducted a lead hazard evaluation that identified lead-based paint hazards at the Tribe's Head Start building which provides educational services for young children. The Tribe was then able to have these lead hazards remediated to avoid risks to children from lead hazards at the facility.
- The Hoopa Valley Tribe used the technical expertise of its tribal lead risk assessor to evaluate lead levels in soil at a tribal housing area. Soil from sites within this housing area, including child play areas and family gardens, contained hazardous levels of lead. The Tribe took action and prohibited access to these lead-contaminated sites until soil remediation efforts were undertaken in coordination with EPA and US Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe conducted lead hazard evaluations at tribal housing and child-occupied facilities. This Tribe’s efforts can be seen in the photo gallery on this webpage.
- The Colorado River Indian Tribes determined that more than 10 young children had elevated blood lead levels higher than the Federal level of health concern set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The blood lead screening efforts by this Tribe prompted additional follow up efforts with the parents or legal guardians of these children by tribal nursing staff. This effort enabled the Tribe to ensure they managed these elevated lead levels in accordance with published guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Taking the Next Step: Informing Other Tribes
Several of these tribal partners have taken the extra step of sharing information and technical expertise on lead hazards with other tribes and adjacent non-tribal communities.
The Torres Martinez Tribe shared lead hazard information with non-tribal neighbors in Riverside County, California. Big Valley Rancheria and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria shared information on reducing lead hazards with medical professionals, educators and community members at a lead hazard forum in Lake County, California.
In October 2008, five Tribes (Big Valley Rancheria, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Fort Bidwell Indian Community, and Hoopa Valley Tribe) shared their technical expertise and lead hazard accomplishments with 140 tribes which attended the annual tribal EPA environmental conference in San Francisco. The participation of these five tribes on a panel discussion on "Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning in Indian Country" was invaluable in achieving an increased understanding of lead hazards in Indian Country and practical tools to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.
Tribal consortiums have also contributed to efforts at informing the tribal community at large. The Inter-Tribal Councils of Arizona, California and Nevada; and the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition continue to share information on lead hazards with their member Tribes, which includes approximately 115 Tribes of the 146 Federally-recognized tribes located throughout EPA Region 9.
David Tomsovic (email@example.com)
Region 9 Toxics Office
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