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U.S. EPA approves expansion of Navajo Nation regulatory authority over drinking water systems

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (

For Immediate Release: August 15, 2018

Media Contact: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415-947-4149,

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Navajo Nation announced the tribe has been granted primary enforcement and oversight authority for 12 additional public drinking water systems serving approximately 12,500 people.

“The Navajo Nation’s commitment to expanding drinking water system oversight and enforcement responsibility is commendable,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “We support their efforts to ensure that Navajo Nation residents receive safe drinking water now and into the future.”

It is Navajo Nation’s priority to provide clean and safe drinking water to the people who reside on our lands,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. “This expanded authority will improve the health and wellbeing for future generations.

Expanding Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory authority grants them oversight and enforcement powers for the Western Navajo Agency – including ten existing water systems – and two additional systems in the Eastern Navajo Agency. The Cameron Trading Post water system in the Western Navajo Agency is not included in the expansion.

Navajo Nation EPA has met the stringent conditions required to assume enforcement authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Since 2000, Navajo Nation has remained the only tribe in the country to have regulatory authority for its drinking water program, and now regulates 168 separate water systems serving 177,000 people. The 12 systems included in this primacy expansion were regulated by EPA.

EPA has provided $14.7 million in total funding for Navajo EPA’s Public Water System Supervision Program since it was granted authority in 2000. These funds help pay for personnel and program activities, including drinking water data management, source water protection, operator certification, inspections, compliance and technical training, and enforcement actions.

For more information on the Navajo Nation Public Water Systems Supervision Program, please visit:

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