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News Releases from Region 09

EPA announces $16 Million for Environmental Improvements on Navajo Nation

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced over $16 million in funding for the Navajo Nation to support environmental programs, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure development and community education. The announcement was made at the 24th Annual Regional Tribal Conference in San Francisco.

“The Navajo Nation continues to make great strides in environmental protection and improving public health,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  “Almost $6.9 million will be used to improve wastewater sanitation by installing 33 new septic tanks and drainfields across the nation. An estimated 567 homes will benefit, including 157 that will receive wastewater services for the first time.”

This year, about $13 million will fund water quality projects and water infrastructure for the Navajo. Approximately $2.4 million was awarded directly to the Navajo Nation to support a wide variety of projects including monitoring, watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, wastewater reclamation, and treatment systems. Another $10.6 million will go to the Indian Health Service to support tribal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, plant operator training, and technical assistance.

The Navajo Nation will use an additional $3 million to continue tribal environmental programs, clean up open dumps and contaminated lands, develop programs to monitor, protect, and improve air quality, and conduct targeted community outreach and community education.

Among the results of EPA funding:

  • Approximately $3.71 million will fund two waterline extension projects that will provide piped water to 98 Navajo homes for the first time. The Tribe is contributing $4 million towards the total project cost.
  • The Tribe will conduct a used tire collection and disposal event.

These funds are critical in building the capacity of tribes to carry out environmental work. As most tribes in the Pacific Southwest have small governments, one goal of the funding is to assist tribes in developing the ability to establish and sustain environmental protection programs and make informed decisions to protect public health and environmental quality. The funds are also used to develop environmental and public health ordinances.

The EPA's Pacific Southwest Region is home to 148 tribal nations.

For more information please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region9/tribal