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U.S. EPA awards Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians $100,000 to study and improve local water

Release Date: 2/2/2005
Contact Information: Contact: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815 Cell: (213) 798-1404

Photo of:Announcement made at the Regional Operations Committee Meeting in Laughlin

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians $100,000 for a water feasibility study on the reservation, including water needs at densely populated trailer parks, as part of the agency's Tribal Border Infrastructure program.

The announcement was made at the Regional Operations Committee Meeting in Laughlin, Nev., sponsored by the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe. EPA officials and representatives from 100 tribes met to discuss tribal environmental concerns and how to solve them.

"With this water study grant, the EPA remains committed to improving the quality of life of the children and families of the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians," said Laura Yoshii of the EPA. "Secondly, we continue to build tribal capacity to manage Indian Country environmental programs, so that all tribes have a strong voice in decisions that affect their land, air and water resources."

"The Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians continue to build for a better future," said Faith Morreo, Vice Chairwoman of the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians. "The better the environment we offer our people now, the healthier they'll be tomorrow."

The Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians are located in the Riverside and Imperial counties west of Los Angeles, near the Coachella Valley. The water feasibility study will evaluate:

  • The existing water and wastewater systems;
  • Projected future infrastructure needs based on 10 and 20 year growth projections;
  • Regional drinking water and wastewater infrastructure to correct existing deficiencies and future needs.

Funding for this project is provided by the EPA's Tribal Border Infrastructure program which funds high priority water and wastewater infrastructure projects for Tribes within 100 km (62 miles) north of the U.S. / Mexico Border. The program funds are part of special congressional appropriations for the U.S. / Mexico border region.

Between 1996 and 2003, EPA's Tribal Border Infrastructure Program provided $28.4 million to improve the drinking water and wastewater systems for tribes within 62 miles of the U.S./Mexico Border. This has provided 7,765 homes with safe drinking water, and 1,888 homes with better wastewater disposal facilities.

For more information on the EPA's Tribal Program, please visit: .
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