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EPA Honors Two Arizona Water Agencies Today in National Ceremony

Release Date: 4/1/2003
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez (415) 947-4248

     SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored two Arizona water agencies in Washington DC today for their efforts to protect watersheds beyond federal Clean Water Act requirements.

    The EPA selected the city of Sierra Vista and the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District  from over 200 nominations sent in from around the country.

    EPA Administrator Christie Whitman and Assistant Administrator for Water G. Tracy Mehan III honored the Arizona winners and 77 other water pollution control agencies from across the country this morning with the Clean Water Partners for the 21st Century Award.  Agencies were selected based on actions such as protecting and restoring rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands and initiating innovative local pollution prevention programs.

    "The Year of Clean Water provides us with a tremendous opportunity to recognize the hard work, sacrifice, and leadership of local agencies from across the country," said Whitman.  "These award winners have set a strong example for future clean water efforts, and we look forward to working with our partners toward our shared goals to reduce water pollution and ensure cleaner, purer water for all Americans."

    The City of Sierra Vista, Ariz., has developed and installed a comprehensive water management program to preserve and protect its sub-watershed.  A range of city initiatives are designed to protect the base flows of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and help assure the long-term availability of high quality water supplies for future generations.

     Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District, Tucson, Ariz., has undertaken several watershed protection initiatives that focus on the quality of groundwater.  Through the District's Abandonment and Capping Policy and the mandates of the Groundwater Management Act, the District has worked to protect public health and protect the drinking water quality of aquifers.

    Applications for the Clean Water Partners Awards were announced in the Federal Register in April 2002.  Each applicant completed a compliance screen and demonstrated a good compliance record.  Applications were reviewed by a panel including EPA, the Water Environment Federation, Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies and the National League of Cities.  For more information, log on to EPA's Office of Water Web site,