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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, 148 Tribes


Compliance and Stewardship

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Compliance and Stewardship

Photo of:

Rincon Band of the Luiseno Mission Indians of the Rincon Reservation - solid waste code drafting meeting.

In 2006, EPA issued federal credentials to seven tribal inspectors. Three inspectors were certified to conduct inspections under the Clean Water Act while four are now certified to conduct inspections for pesticides.

EPA worked with tribes to provide compliance assistance to 100% of known tribal public water supply systems. Over 900 site visits were made to the 320 systems in the Pacific Southwest last year.

Perhaps one of the greatest opportunities for EPA and tribes to partner is in the areas of compliance and stewardship. The Navajo Nation and EPA pilottested a self-assessment tool for schools. Over the year, EPA provided compliance assistance to all 89 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools and conducted 6 cross-media inspections of BIA schools.

EPA issued 26 enforcement actions to return facilities to compliance, and issued penalties totaling over $80,000 to companies operating on tribal lands.

For example, in September of 2006, EPA signed an Administrative Order on Consent with Cyprus Tohono Corporation to clean up mine waste from their copper mine two miles southeast of North Komelik. This $18 million cleanup is being carried out by the mining company under EPA oversight, and is one of the costliest removal actions ever carried out on tribal land in Region 9. The cleanup is completely on the Tohono O'odham Nation and includes removing evaporation residues and tailings from five major facility areas which collectively cover approximately 450 acres.

copper mine waste clean-up

Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona - copper mine waste clean-up.

evaporation pond

Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona - Cyprus Tohono Mine evaporation pond.

Healthy Schools

  • EPA provided compliance assistance to all 89 BIA schools.
  • Navajo Nation and EPA pilot-tested a self-assessment tool for schools.
  • EPA conducted 6 multi-media inspections of BIA schools.

EPA sent Compliance Assistance Notebooks to every tribe in Region 9. The notebooks contain compliance assistance information on air, water, waste management, and pollution prevention in schools. This effort was part of EPA's National Tribal Compliance Assistance priority.

EPA reached more than 31,000 people with information about compliance with open dumping rules in Indian Country. This outreach included community presentations, "no-dumping" alerts, training courses, and inspections.

The Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University was selected to provide five workshops to teach tribal inspectors to conduct compliance monitoring inspections under tribal law, and help them obtain authorization to conduct various inspections under federal law.

harvesting and replanting tribal garden

Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California - Head Start program, harvesting and replanting tribal garden.

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