EPA made the announcement at the Pacific Southwest Region’s 26th Annual Tribal/EPA Conference held in San Francisco this week, hosted by the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians.

EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker said: “This vital funding helps tribes provide safe drinking water to their communities and maintain important environmental programs.

“These grants have significant impacts on the environment and quality of life on tribal lands.”

EPA awarded $22.1m to tribes in California to fund projects on water quality monitoring, watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, and wastewater recycling and treatment.

Tribes in California will also use EPA funding to clean up open dumps, develop programs to monitor, protect and improve air quality, and build public awareness of these efforts. Another $4.5m will fund Indian Health Service support of tribal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, plant operator training and technical assistance.

Examples of work being funded:

The Big Valley Rancheria will use $173,000 to install corrosion control treatment at its public water system to address elevated levels of lead and copper at 38 tribal homes.

The Middletown Rancheria Community will use $547,050 to extend sewer line service connections to the Lake County Sanitation District, removing 40 aging septic systems.

The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians will use $190,672 to manage environmental programs, including solid and hazardous waste management activities, conducting community outreach, and monitoring Salton Sea air quality.

EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region is home to 148 tribal nations and contains half of all tribal lands nationwide.

Source: Company Press Release