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EPA Announces $1.2 Million Drinking Water Grant to Hopi Tribe

Release Date: 9/23/2002
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, EPA, 415/947-4248, Honanie, The Hopi Tribe 928-734-3631

     Grant to Help Protect Scarce Water Supplies

     SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $1.2 million grant to the Hopi Tribe for exploration and development of a drinking water source for the Villages of Moenkopi and Shungopavi.

     Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri announced the grant during a tour of the upper and lower villages of Moenkopi on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona.  The trip is part of a week-long tour by the regional administrator to witness first-hand the environmental problems faced by the Hopi and Navajo tribes.

     "Funding for tribal programs is a high priority for the EPA.  We have a responsibility to help tribes protect their resources and provide basic services like water and sewer to their members," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.   "Today's actions will help secure a good quality, sustainable, safe drinking water supply for the Villages of Upper and Lower Moenkopi while strengthening tribal capacity to be sef-sufficient in managing their natural resources."  

     The EPA estimates that over 7 percent of all tribal members living on reservations in the U.S. lack running water, compared with less than half of one percent of the U.S. population as a whole.

     "The Hopi Tribe welcomes Mr. Wayne Nastri to the Hopi Reservation and we are pleased to receive vital funding necessary to ensure the safety and purity of its natural resources including that of its precious water supply," said Wayne Taylor Jr., Chairman of the Hopi Tribe.   "The Tribe appreciates the EPA's efforts to work with us to secure the water supplies to the Villages and to protect the Hopi Reservation's sole source of drinking water."

     The grant is a part of a larger effort by the EPA and the Hopi Tribe to protect water resources in the Moenkopi area.  The highest priority of the Hopi people is to expedite cleanup efforts at the Tuba City leaking underground storage tanks site on both the Hopi and Navajo lands.

     Earlier this year the EPA ordered Thriftway Marketing Corp. of Farmington, N.M. to begin construction of its second clean-up system at the SunWest Express gas station in Tuba City, Ariz.  The new system is part of an overall effort to remove petroleum contamination from soil and groundwater at the gas station, and protects groundwater supplies in the area.  The system should be completed in 2-4 weeks.

     Thriftway recently submitted a workplan for installing an interim cleanup system on the Hopi side.

     Later this week, Regional Administrator Nastri will tour the Navajo Reservation, where he plans to announce funding to help close illegal dump sites and for additional water supply projects.