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U.S. EPA gives $85,000 to Phoenix nonprofit to help tribes protect drinking water

Release Date: 3/30/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile, 415/947-4227 (

Workshops will be held this week in Parker

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $85,000 to a Phoenix-based nonprofit organization to assist tribes in protecting their drinking water systems from vandalism, terrorist attacks and other threats.

The EPA awarded $85,000 to the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, based in Phoenix, to assist tribes in assessing potential vulnerabilities in their drinking water systems. Workshops are being held today and tomorrow in Parker, AZ.

"Investing in water security is especially important for smaller systems, which are often more vulnerable," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA's water division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "This funding will help our tribal partners protect their vital sources of drinking water."

The EPA has awarded $440,000 to three nonprofit organizations and the Navajo Nation to help tribes in California, Arizona and Nevada assess and protect their drinking water. Tribal drinking water systems are often located in isolated areas that can be difficult to secure and patrol, which makes them potentially more vulnerable to risks.

The Bioterrorism Act of 2002 requires that the EPA and drinking water systems take steps to improve the security of the nation's drinking water infrastructure. All tribal community water systems that serve between 3,300 and 50,000 people are required to conduct vulnerability assessments by June 2004.