News Releases from Region 09
EPA awards $2.7 million to American Samoa for environmental protection
HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a grant of over $2.7 million to American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency for its environmental protection programs.
“EPA’s funding enables American Samoa to pursue its goals of clean air, water and land,” said Alexis Strauss, acting EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We appreciate American Samoa EPA’s work that benefits the island residents and their natural resources.”
ASEPA will use the funds to support air, water, and land inspections, monitor the safety of beaches and drinking water, cleanup sites contaminated by waste, improve piggery environmental compliance, monitor water quality, protect coral reefs, and respond to emergencies.
In addition to managing its emergency response, hazardous waste and clean air programs, current American Samoa EPA project priorities include:
- Improving its ability to assess watershed health, stream water quality, and coral reef health; and developing a training toolkit using ecosystem health monitoring criteria. This includes a comprehensive ridge-to-reef assessment program and collection of data that can be used to predict threats to ecosystem health in the watersheds, pinpoint specific sources of degradation, and develop models for identifying threats to coral;
- Working to remove the existing boil-water notices on Tutuila, and ensuring access to potable drinking water for all American Samoa residents;
- Protecting Faga’alu Watershed, designated a priority watershed by the US Coral Reef Task Force, and its coral reefs through the reduction of silt and contaminants into Faga’alu stream;
- Protecting human health and reducing leptospirosis through implementation of ASEPA’s Piggery Compliance Program;
- Educating farmers on proper pesticide application techniques, and eliminate illegal importation and use of unregistered/foreign pesticides;
- Protecting coastal waters, coral reefs and indigenous biota through water quality monitoring and beach monitoring to ensure American Samoa has clean beaches for swimming and fishing;
- Conducting outreach and education to American Samoa’s schools and communities, including the “Keep American Samoa Beautiful” (KASB) Campaign and American Samoa’s Anti-Litter Program;
- Cleaning up and supporting the development of formerly contaminated sites; and
- Inspecting underground and above-ground fuel storage tanks.
The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations, and is home to more than 48 million people.