SAN FRANCISCO – October 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced over $7 million in funding to support Navajo Nation’s environmental programs, wastewater infrastructure development, community education and capacity building. The announcement was made at the 23rd Annual Regional Tribal Conference in Reno, Nev.
“Navajo Nation has made great progress in protecting the environment and improving public health in tribal lands,” said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “These grants will help support the significant accomplishments that have been achieved through the collaborative efforts of the Navajo Nation and the federal government.”
The Navajo Nation is the first tribe to receive approval to administer and enforce its own Public Water System Supervision and Class II Underground Injection Control programs. Over $1 million has been awarded to support the implementation of these programs. These funds allow the Navajo Nation to hire staff, conduct site visits and inspections and ensure clean and safe water to the tribe.
The Navajo Nation implements a water quality standards program for its surface waters and issues 401 water quality certifications. More than $1 million will support a wide variety of water quality projects including watershed protection and restoration, and water and energy efficiency. Funding also enables the Navajo Nation to assist EPA with carrying out the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program for Navajo lands. Watersheds on the Navajo Nation are impacted by severe sediment erosion and funding will go to the construction of sediment erosion controls, plus allow Navajo Nation staff to provide outreach to the community and stakeholders on techniques for achieving improved watershed health.
In addition, approximately $5 million was awarded to the Navajo Area Indian Health Service to directly support Navajo Nation’s high priority wastewater infrastructure projects to provide sewer service to several communities.
This year Navajo Nation will also receive $287,000 in General Assistance Program funding to expand the Navajo Nation’s environmental program. The funds will help to: develop new outreach materials and methods for community outreach and education; provide outreach on the Nation’s environmental laws to new Navajo Nation attorneys; develop options to incorporate the traditional culture into the Nation’s environmental laws; research options for the development of a hazardous waste database; and develop an EPA Tribal Environmental Plan.
The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region is home to 148 tribal nations with half of Indian Country nationwide concentrated in three states; Indian Country in California, Arizona and Nevada is about equal to area of the six New England states combined.
For more information please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region9/tribal
Contact Information: Soledad Calvino, 415-972-3512,