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EPA, Gila River Indian Community flip switch at Arizona Traders soil and groundwater treatment system

Release Date: 09/07/2006
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248,

(San Francisco, Calif. -- 09/07/2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Gila River Indian Community today began full-scale operation of the soil treatment system at the Arizona Traders Trading Post leaking underground storage tank site in Sacaton, Ariz.

The new treatment facility includes three wells that extract and treat hydrocarbon vapors from the soil.

“The start of the new treatment facility culminates over four years of effort to address the releases at this location,” said Jeff Scott, the EPA’s Waste Management Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “We are very pleased with the progress the EPA and the Gila River Indian Community have made at the site.”

“The partnership with the U.S. EPA that is enjoyed by the Gila River Indian Community is very productive and dynamic, and is greatly valued by the Community. This partnership has led the Gila River Indian Community toward environmental accomplishments that will lead to a healthier and cleaner environment for all of our Community members and non-members that both live and work within the Community for many years to come,” said William R. Rhodes, the Governor for the Gila River Indian Community. “Groundwater is one of the most important resources for the Community, not only for daily use but also culturally. It is with deep and sincere appreciation that the Gila River Indian Community extends its congratulations on an essential cleanup of our groundwater, and we look forward to collaborating on other activities that will benefit both the environment and public health.”

The Arizona Traders Trading Post used two underground tanks to store gasoline from 1963 to 1985. The tribe discovered soil and groundwater contamination after the tanks were removed in 1998.

The EPA has spent over $800,000 to date to cleanup the site, and estimates that soil cleanup will be completed in three years and groundwater cleanup in up to 10 years. For more information, visit: