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EPA Fines BIA $136,000 for Keams Canyon Drinking Water Violations on the Hopi Reservation

Release Date: 09/24/2013
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced their settlement with Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs including civil penalties of $136,000 for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act at the Keams Canyon Public Water Supply system.

“Access to clean, potable drinking water is still a critical issue for many tribal communities.” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our citizens must have confidence that their water supply is monitored and safe, and their providers, whether a private company, local government, or federal entity, are complying with drinking water standards.”

The Keams Canyon public water supply system, located on the Hopi Reservation, is owned and operated by the BIA and serves a population of approximately 2,000 people. EPA found the BIA exceeded drinking water standards for arsenic and failed to monitor for arsenic and disinfection compounds. The system is now fully compliant with these requirements.

Today’s action follows a previous EPA order in 2011 which resulted in the BIA spending nearly $1 million dollars to install and operate an arsenic treatment system. The action is part of a larger national effort to ensure environmental compliance in Indian Country. As part of EPA’s commitment to Indian Country, the agency continues to focus attention on drinking water and on solid waste issues on tribal lands.

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