Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases By Date

 

U.S. EPA formally accepts Gila River Indian Community environmental plan; First tribal comprehensive air quality plan nationwide

Release Date: 02/21/2007
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute. (213) 798-1404

(02/21/07 -- LOS ANGELES) After years in the making, the Gila River Indian Community will deliver to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a Tribal Implementation Plan, a blueprint of how to achieve improved air quality on tribal lands.

The Wednesday, Feb. 21 ceremony will feature representatives from the EPA, tribal council members and local elected officials.

“In establishing the Tribal Implementation Plan, the Gila River Indian Community has not only established a series of essential guidelines for achieving cleaner air on tribal lands, but it has done so in a very open way, reflecting input from the community,” said Deborah Jordan, Director, EPA Office of Air, Region 9.

"The Gila River Tribal Implementation Plan provides the framework to protect our air quality now and for future generations,” said Margaret Cook, Director of Gila River Indian Community Department of Environmental Quality. “We are proud to be the first Tribal government in the nation to complete a comprehensive air quality plan."

Located in central Arizona, the Gila River Indian Community encompasses over 600 square miles, and has three industrial parks, and three casinos.

The Gila River Indian Community’s Department of Environmental Quality had spent the last seven years developing a Tribal Implementation Plan to protect air quality on tribal lands, a first nationwide. In addition, the Gila River tribe developed a team of environmental professionals, the majority of whom are Native American, to administer and enforce this plan.

Other environmental innovations introduced by the Gila River tribe include:

• A permitting program, air monitoring program, and an emissions inventory;
• Implementation and enforcement of a medical waste management program;
• Specific ordinances for local businesses and industries such as aluminum extrusion plants, an explosives manufacturer, several sand and gravel operations, and chemical supply companies;
• Regulations that cover dust emissions, and the storage and handling of metal cleaners.

For more information on the EPA’s many clean air initiatives, please visit:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/air/index.html