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US EPA awards Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians grant money for pesticide risk reduction work

Release Date: 3/12/2004
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has awarded the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians a $100,000 grant to help a number of Tribes in the Clear Lake region of California develop approaches to prevent risks from pesticide use. Education and communication will be key components of this project that will take place within and outside Tribal boundaries.

Big Valley has identified local environmental risks from pesticide exposure that affect Tribal members in the Clear Lake region of Lake County. The Tribe, with the EPA's assistance, will hire
an expert to:

  • Identify current and historic pesticide use on or around Tribal lands in the Clear Lake region;
  • Assess the environmental and health concerns of these pesticides;
  • Identify pesticide use on or around Tribal lands in Lake County that will potentially impact
Tribal cultural practices;
  • Conduct workshops for Tribal members to communicate the environmental and health
impacts of commercial and household pesticide use;
  • Increase communication between State, local and Tribal organizations to ensure that cultural,
environmental and health concerns of the Tribes are addressed;
  • Support creation of Tribal infrastructure to minimize exposure to pesticides.

"What Big Valley is doing is an important step toward employing more sustainable agricultural practices and reducing impacts of pesticides not only for the Tribes in the region, but also for the community as a whole," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the Cross Media Division in the EPA's Pacific Southwest regional office. "We are glad we have the opportunity to fund this project and pleased that our Tribal partners have stepped forward to do this work."

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