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EPA Announces $2.86 Million to Improve Tribal Lands in Arizona

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (

SAN FRANCISCO —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $2.86 million in funding to nine Arizona tribes for environmental programs including drinking water infrastructure development, hazardous waste cleanups, air pollution control, water quality improvement and wetland protection. 

The announcement was made at the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Summer Regional Tribal Operations Committee meeting, hosted by the Hualapai Tribe in Peach Springs, Arizona.

“This funding will help support tribal employment, develop infrastructure and conserve resources,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These vital grants have a huge impact in Indian County.”

Arizona tribes will use $741,214 under EPA’s Superfund program to help strengthen hazardous waste regulations and prevent contamination of tribal lands. Funds will also be used for site-specific brownfields assessments and cleanups that will pave the way for redevelopment.

Tribes will use $702,748 to support critical tribal environmental programs, including cleaning up open dumps, finishing small construction projects and raising public awareness about waste reduction and other pollution prevention strategies. A total of $640,200 will support tribes’ efforts to reduce air pollution and diesel emissions.

An additional $412,582 will be used by the tribes for a wide variety of water quality projects including watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency improvement, wastewater reclamation, and development of traditional municipal wastewater treatment systems including nonpoint source pollution controls. These funds also support drinking water infrastructure, plant operator training and technical assistance.

Examples of specific tribal environmental projects include:

  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation received $16,680 to work with University of Arizona researchers to assess water quality, develop sustainable agriculture and enhance emergency preparedness.
  • Gila River Indian Community is using $154,000 to replace older diesel school buses with newer models that reduce emissions and improve air quality for children.
  • The Navajo Nation will utilize $368,100 for cleaning of leaking underground tank sites storing petroleum or hazardous substances, protecting vital groundwater resources.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region is home to 148 tribal nations and contains half of the nation’s tribal lands.

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