U.S. EPA awards over $45 million for environmental improvements on tribal lands in America’s Pacific Southwest as 28th Annual EPA Tribal Conference ends
SAN FRANCISCO – Today is the final day of the three-week 28th annual EPA Pacific Southwest Tribal Conference. For the first time, the conference went completely virtual, bringing together hundreds of tribal stakeholders and key officials from government to network as well as to learn about and engage on important topics surrounding tribal environmental issues. To mark the conference’s conclusion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing nearly $45 million in funding to tribes in the Pacific Southwest to invest in environmental protection programs and water infrastructure.
“EPA grants put resources into the hands of tribes to do the real work on the ground – protection of air quality and water quality, management of solid and hazardous waste, cleaning of lands, building capacity, and reaching communities through outreach and education,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud, addressing tribes in the region at the virtual conference.
EPA grants to tribes in the Pacific Southwest will support water quality monitoring, watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, and wastewater recycling and treatment. Tribes will also leverage EPA funding to support efforts that advance clean water and air and environmental protection of tribal lands.
EPA awards nearly $17 million in funding to 20 tribes in Arizona
In Arizona, EPA is funding cleanup of open dumps, developing programs to monitor, protecting and improving air quality, and ensure public awareness of these efforts. Additional examples of work being funded include:
Navajo Nation will conduct environmental job training for former sawmill employees near Red Lake Chapter House.
White Mountain Apache Tribe will oversee asbestos abatement on several abandoned cabins around Hawley Lake to repurpose the popular recreational area for camping to generate additional revenue for the tribe.
Hopi Tribe will leverage $1.3 million in funding towards the Hopi Arsenic Mitigation Project, a new regional water system that will deliver arsenic compliant drinking water to four Hopi communities, serving 869 homes.
EPA awards over $4 million in funding to 16 tribes in Nevada
In Nevada, EPA funding will support reservation-wide recycling programs, pilot curbside recycling, and develop programs to monitor, protect and improve air quality while also building public awareness of these efforts. Additional examples of work being funded include:
The Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation are receiving technical assistance to assess an old day school building. This assistance will help facilitate the tribe’s plan to renovate the building into tribal offices.
The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California is receiving technical assistance to evaluate potential contamination at two properties in the Dresslerville Community. The tribe’s redevelopment plan includes developing a community resource center preserving and showcasing the culture of the tribe.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Water Quality Program will work with EPA and local partners to better understand and address factors that led to widespread beach closures at Pyramid Lake in 2020 after the detection of harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins.
EPA awards nearly $24 million in funding to 89 tribes in California
In California, EPA is providing $1.3 million to assist the Indian Health Service to install emergency generators for seventeen tribes to power public water and wastewater treatment systems during power shutdowns. Tribes in California will also use EPA funding to develop programs to monitor, protect and improve air quality, and build public awareness of these efforts. Additional examples of work being funded include:
Pala Band of Mission Indians will expand their residential curbside Household Hazardous and Universal Waste (HHUW) pickup program, promote source reduction, and develop training and education materials for peer-to-peer training with other tribes.
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians will develop a disaster resiliency plan and emergency operations training center to develop the capacity to respond to community environmental impacts following natural disasters.
Fort Bidwell Indian Community will conduct a waste characterization to evaluate the feasibility to build a transfer station tailored to the Community’s waste stream and develop options to establish and fund a waste management system.
Virtual Conference Concludes Today
EPA hosted a three-week virtual conference starting October 6th to focus on a variety of tribal environmental issues. 620 registered participants attended and presented on sessions that included:
- Post-Fire Restoration on Washoe Land.
- Developing a Tribal Indoor Air Quality Program.
- Showcase of EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Evaluation Tools for Organizations.
- Unidentified / Unregistered Public Water Systems in Indian Country.
- The History of Air Quality on the Gila River Indian Community.
- Tribal Drinking Water Team Updates.
For more information on the tribal conference, please visit: https://www.tribalepa.com.
November is Native American Heritage Month
EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region encompasses more than half of all tribal lands in the United States and works on a government-to-government basis with 148 federally recognized tribes. EPA recognizes tribal governments as the primary parties for setting standards, making environmental policy decisions, and managing programs for reservations.
For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/tribal/region-9-tribal-program.