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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Grant Will Help Ohkay Owingeh Protect Water Quality


Media contacts: Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard, or 214 665-2200

DALLAS – (Nov. 19, 2020) Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant of $72,110 to the Ohkay Owingeh for water pollution control programs. The funding, awarded as a cooperative agreement under the Clean Water Act Section 106, will go toward monitoring and improving water quality in Tribal rivers, lakes, creeks and watersheds.

“EPA is proud to provide this funding for the Ohkay Owingeh as they continue to manage their water resources effectively by using these Section 106 grants to identify and proactively address water quality priorities and concerns,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “This grant will support the Tribe’s important work to protect and improve the Rio Grande and other waterbodies.”

This grant will support the Ohkay Owingeh Natural Resources Division’s programs to maintain, protect, and improve the water quality of its rivers, lakes, streams, groundwater, and other waterbodies. These efforts help keep clean waterbodies from becoming polluted, as well as reduce pollution in poor-quality waterbodies.  Activities include monitoring water quality in Tribal lakes, the Rio Grande, and the Rio Chama within Ohkay Owingeh lands, as well as in the Big Sandy Creek, Bear Creek, and Tombigbee Lake watersheds. Tribal water staff will sample for metals, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity, Escherichia coli, streamflow, and depth.

Since 1987, EPA has provided technical assistance and funding under the Clean Water Act Section 106 program to assist tribes and intertribal consortia to understand, assess, and preserve water resources on their lands. For tribes, Section 106 grants are a crucial, dedicated source of funds for developing, maintaining, and expanding water quality programs. These programs are designed to control, prevent, and eliminate water pollution as well as to educate tribal members and the general public. Together, Indian tribes are responsible for protecting and restoring tens of thousands of square miles of rivers, streams, and lakes, as well as ground water.

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