U.S. EPA awards $2.1 million to American Samoa for environmental protection
HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $2.1 million to the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) to strengthen its capacity to protect human health and the environment.
“American Samoa EPA has been a great partner in protecting the environment,” said Deborah Jordan, Acting Administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “We are pleased to support AS-EPA programs that are committed to achieving a better environment for all the residents of American Samoa.”
"We welcome the news of this grant award with gratitude to U.S. EPA Region 9, which will fund our environmental enforcement programs and services for the new fiscal year,” said AS-EPA Director Fa’amao Asalele. “These programs and services affect everyone as we all benefit from the Territory's pristine environmental resources. I would be remiss if I did not thank our community who continue to participate in our programs and services, as community involvement is ultimately what gets the job done when it comes to environmental management. It is an ongoing community effort, and we value community participation.”
The AS-EPA uses U.S. EPA funding to: support air, water, and land inspections; monitor the safety of beaches and drinking water; clean up contaminated sites; inspect fuel storage tanks; improve piggery facility compliance; protect coral reefs; and respond to emergencies.
Other environmental priorities that the funds will advance include:
- Ensuring access to potable drinking water for American Samoa residents, and working to remove the need for boil-water notices on Tutuila.
- Improving watershed health, stream water quality, and coral reef health.
- Reducing potential environmental and public health harm from unsafe handling of electronic waste.
- Providing technical assistance to farmers on proper pesticide application techniques and eliminating illegal importation and use of unregistered foreign pesticides.
- Enhancing shared accountability for environmental protection and cultural preservation through intergovernmental collaborations.