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Ariz. tribe receives award for cleaning up environment
Release Date: 06/30/2006
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute 213-244-1815
SAN FRANCISCO – At a ceremony today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri, joined by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Deputy Director Patrick Cunningham, presented the EPA’s 2006 Environmental Achievement Award to the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
“In less than one decade, this tribe has built an effective environmental department that has set a standard for the environmental benefits one tribe can make,” said Nastri. “Ak-Chin's success is a model for other tribal environmental departments to emulate.”
"I am proud of the way the community has worked to improve the environment over the last decade," said Gov. Napolitano. "The Ak-Chin Community's efforts are a clear example of success in a short period of time."
“We congratulate the Ak-Chin community on this terrific achievement,” Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens said. “ADEQ and the Ak-Chin tribe work very closely together to protect the environment and the health and safety of all Arizonans.”
The Ak-Chin Indian Community’s successes include the following:
- cleaned up illegal dumpsites and installed 25 "No Dumping" signs;
- removed over 90 abandoned vehicles, removed 184,000 pounds of auto, farm and truck tires;
- recycled 100,000 pounds of scrap metal and appliances;
- removed all underground storage tanks from the community;
- protected water resources by removing 500 non-native salt cedar trees and tamarisks, and planted cottonwood trees on the banks of tribal water bodies;
- ensured community water supply met or exceeded all health and safety standards;
- developed tribally-approved water quality standards;
- removed all septic tanks from the community;
- implemented an integrated pest management plan within the community;
- conducted lead and asbestos assessments at tribal buildings;
- conducted extensive West Nile Virus education; and
- worked together with the state and other tribes in its region on air monitoring, solid waste codes and cultural resource protection.
The EPA’s Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Thirty nine groups and individuals were selected from more than 160 nominees received this year from businesses, media, local, government officials, tribes, environmental organizations and citizen activists.