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News Releases from Region 09

EPA awards $465,000 to Navajo Nation for water monitoring in the San Juan River

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

SAN FRANCISCO–This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency $465,000 for water quality monitoring in the San Juan River. 

This funding is in addition to $1 million awarded in October for water quality monitoring and ecological restoration activities throughout the Reservation.

“Funding for long-term monitoring will provide important information needed by the Navajo Nation, EPA and our other state and tribal partners to assess the San Juan River,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We will continue to work with the affected states and tribes using sound science to monitor and understand river conditions.”

Navajo Nation will use the funds to do additional monitoring in the San Juan River, including sediment sampling and a fish tissue contaminant study.  The study will monitor current contaminant levels in fish and focus on potential human health risks associated with fish consumption subsequent to the Gold King Mine release. 

The EPA has allotted $2 million in grants to states and tribes to develop a better understanding of overall water quality conditions in the Animas-San Juan Basin following the Gold King Mine release. 

This funding supports Navajo’s monitoring efforts to meet their data needs and to gather a robust set of data that can be compared to longer-term monitoring results of EPA and other tribes and states in the San Juan River basin.  EPA’s long-term monitoring plan is available on the EPA Gold King Mine website.

For more information, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/goldkingmine