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Governor Napolitano presents Environmental Achievement Award to Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Release Date: 5/11/2005
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, EPA, (415) 760-5422

Tribe showcases environmental accomplishments

SAN FRANCISCO -- At a ceremony today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri, along with Governor Janet Napolitano and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens, presented the EPA's 2005 Environmental Achievement Award to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community for its efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2004.

"Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has worked tirelessly to safeguard human health and welfare while preserving and protecting its natural and cultural resources," Nastri said. "These accomplishments demonstrate the tangible environmental results achieved for the Community, and are a result of true partnerships between the EPA, the tribe and the state."

"The tribe's environmental program is an outstanding example of the power of collaboration," said Governor Napolitano. "The state of Arizona congratulates the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on it's outstanding effort on behalf of a healthier Arizona."

"In our Community environmental stewardship isn't an option -- it's a birthright," said Joni M. Ramos, president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. "We owe it to our children and their children to protect our natural environment. Our ancestors did it for us and it's our responsibility to extend that same concept for future generations."

"We are working closely in partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, as well as other Indian Nations, to protect Arizona's environment for our families and children," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said. "Through our joint commitment, we are accomplishing great things."

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's Cultural and Environmental Services Division partnered with federal, state, tribal and local organizations with successful results. For example, the tribe joined other tribes and cities within Maricopa County to assess air quality and address toxic air emissions by monitoring concentrations of ozone and particulate matter.

The division's Wetlands Demonstration Project worked with the EPA to improve the Salt River's water quality and create a riparian habitat for wildlife. The wetlands are designed to remove pollutants from irrigation tailwater and stormwater runoff that flows into the Salt River.

In coordination with the EPA, the tribe also removed 580 tons of waste, 7.75 tons of recyclable metals, and 2,200 old tires from the former Cypress landfill, and also initiated a Brownfields program at the former landfill.

After the award presentation, the tribe showcased it's wetlands demonstration project, the Tri-Cities co-generation plant, and an air quality monitoring project.

The EPA's 7th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony honored individuals and organizations that created and implemented innovative approaches toward solving some of the Pacific Southwest's toughest environmental challenges. The agency selected 37 award recipients from over 175 nominations from California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.