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EPA awards over $2.1 million to American Samoa for environmental protection

Release Date: 10/02/2014
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(10/02/14) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing over $2.1 million to American Samoa for environmental protection work.

“EPA’s funding enables American Samoa to advance their goals in the pursuit of clean air, water and land,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We congratulate the American Samoa Le Ofisa O Puipuiaga O le Si'osi'omaga for its work benefitting the island residents and their resources.”

The funding will go to support the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), including inspections, monitoring the safety of beaches and drinking water, permit writing, enforcement and other facets of their environmental protection programs. Priorities include:

* Environmental outreach and education to American Samoa’s schools and communities, the “Keep American Samoa Beautiful (KASB) Campaign, and American Samoa’s Anti-Litter Program;
* Work in coordination with American Samoa Power Authority to help remove the existing boil water notice areas on Tutuila, and ensure potable drinking water for 100 percent of American Samoa residents;
* Protection of the Faga’alu Watershed, designated a priority watershed by the US Coral Reef Task Force, and its coastal waters and coral reefs through the reduction of silt and contaminants into Faga’alu stream.
* Protection of human health and reduction in leptospirosis through implementation of ASEPA’s Piggery Compliance Program;
* Protection of coastal waters, coral reefs and indigenous biota through water quality monitoring and beach monitoring protection.  These monitoring efforts will help ensure American Samoa has clean beaches for swimming and fishing;
* Brownfields program development and site clean-up;
* Pesticide management to educate farmers on proper application techniques, and eliminate illegal importation and use of unregistered/foreign pesticides;
* Inspections to help ensure safe underground and above ground fuel storage tanks;
* Emergency response, hazardous waste, and clean air program management.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations -- home to more than 48 million people.
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