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EPA announces $5.6 Million for Environmental Improvements on Tribal Lands in Nevada

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Margot Perez-Sullivan (

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $5.6 million in funding for Nevada tribes to support environmental programs, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and community education. The announcement was made at the 24th Annual Regional Tribal Conference in San Francisco.

“Tribes continue to make great strides in environmental protection and improving public health,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  “This year, EPA is supporting water quality projects and water infrastructure for Nevada tribes with over $1.8 million in funding.”

Approximately $1.7 million was awarded directly to Nevada tribes to support a wide variety projects including monitoring, watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, wastewater reclamation, and treatment systems. Another $107,000 will go to the Indian Health Service to support tribal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, plant operator training and technical assistance.

Nevada tribes will use an additional $3.8 million to continue tribal environmental programs, clean up open dumps and contaminated lands, develop programs to monitor, protect, and improve air quality, and conduct targeted community outreach and community education.

Among the results of EPA funding:

  • The Walker River Paiute Tribe completed an irrigation project that improves water quality by addressing irrigation return flows that contribute sediment, nutrients and pathogens into the Walker River.  The Tribe repaired the eroding ditch by stabilizing 985 feet of bank, installing 5 rock structures across the ditch, and revegetating the bank with native seeds and willow pole plantings.  The return flow serves approximately 1,000 acres of alfalfa field on the west side of Walker River.  
  • The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s Natural Resources Department conducted an Environmental Youth Camp to encourage youth to live off the land and learn about environmental problems and impacts, traditional resources, and cultural ways of protecting their lands. They also hired four environmental interns in STEM programs from local universities to help in the department and with the camp activities.

These funds are critical in building the capacity of tribes to carry out environmental work. As most tribes in the Pacific Southwest have small governments, one goal of the funding is to assist tribes in developing the ability to establish and sustain environmental protection programs and make informed decisions to protect public health and environmental quality. The funds are also used to develop environmental and public health ordinances.

The EPA's Pacific Southwest Region is home to 148 tribal nations.  

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