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New Agreement with Sho-ban Tribes Aims to Protect Reservation Ground Water

Release Date: 1/10/2005
Contact Information: Renee Dagseth
(206) 553-1889

January 10, 2005

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Environmental Protection Agency have forged a new agreement to work together in protecting Fort Hall Reservation's drinking water. This new partnership will focus on identifying and reducing threats to drinking water posed by leaking and abandoned fuel tanks.

Under this new, three year agreement, the Tribes will write environmental regulations and expand technical capabilities with a grant from EPA. This partnership builds on recent efforts by the Tribes, federal agencies, State officials, and local residents to find innovative ways to protect the area's drinking water. EPA also recently funded a multimedia study of threats to the Reservation's drinking water.

In a related development, Kelly Wright has been selected by the Tribal Council to be the Tribes' underground storage tank manager. Mr. Wright will have wide-ranging UST responsibilities, including the creation of a commercial and agricultural tank tracking database which will help the Reservation officials identify which tanks may be leaking.

According to Ron Kreizenbeck, Acting EPA Regional Administrator, education will be an key part of this program.

"The Shoshone Bannock's Inspector will work closely with tank owners and operators to help them better understand federal and Tribal leak prevention requirements,"said Kreizenbeck.

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