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U.S. EPA provides nearly $29 million for environmental improvements on tribal lands in Arizona

11/26/2019
Contact Information: 
Denise Adamic (adamic.denise@epa.gov)
415-972-3061

PHOENIX – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $29 million in funding to 19 tribes in Arizona to invest in environmental protection programs and water infrastructure.

“This vital funding helps tribes provide safe drinking water to their communities and maintain programs important to protecting the environment,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “EPA is committed to helping improve the quality of life on tribal lands.”

EPA awarded nearly $14 million to tribes in Arizona to support water quality monitoring, watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, and wastewater recycling and treatment. Tribes in Arizona will also use EPA funding to clean up open dumps, develop programs to monitor, protect and improve air quality, and ensure public awareness of these efforts. Another $14.8 million will fund improvements to tribal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, plant operator certification, and training.

Tribes leverage EPA funding to support efforts that advance clean water and air, as well as environmental protection of tribal lands.

Additional examples of work being funded:

Ak-Chin Indian Community will use EPA funds to further support the tribe’s community-based program to increase curbside recycling within two neighborhoods. In the program’s first year, nearly 30% of participants increased their recycling practices and ten additional households joined the curbside recyling program, which now serves 46 homes.

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will use EPA funds to educate local farmers on ways to modify agricultural activities to reduce dust during times of poor air quality.  This partnership with farmers will help improve air quality for all residents.

Tohono O’odham Nation will use EPA funds for two projects to reduce arsenic levels in residential drinking water. These projects will improve drinking water for 328 homes and 1,224 people.

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

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