Hopi Tribe gets $5M to improve on-reservation water quality

BY STAFF REPORTS
11/02/2020 11:30 AM
WASHINGTON – On October 28, Bureau of Indians Affairs Assistant Secretary Tara Katuk Mac Lean Sweeney met in Flagstaff, Arizona, with Hopi Tribe Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma to sign a commitment letter for $5 million dollars for an infrastructure project to reduce arsenic levels in drinking water on the Hopi reservation.

“Clean, accessible drinking water is vital for the health of our Native communities,” Sweeney said. “I am proud to announce that the Trump Administration has committed $5 million to the Hopi Arsenic Mitigation Project to reduce the levels of arsenic in water in three Hopi communities. This project has languished since 2008, but the Trump Administration made the Hopi Arsenic Mitigation Project a priority and is helping to move it forward.”

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in the groundwater used by the Hopi communities of Second Mesa, First Mesa, Low Mountain and Keams Canyon. In 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency adopted a standard for concentrations of arsenic in drinking water of 10 parts per billion (ppb), replacing the old standard of 50 ppb.

To address the problem, EPA and the Indian Health Service provided the Hopi Tribe with financial and technical assistance to implement a regional water supply delivery system.  Named the “Hopi Arsenic Mitigation Project,” or HAMP, the system involves construction of wells at the Turquoise Trail region and installation of water lines to the areas of First Mesa and Second Mesa.

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