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EPA's Role in Safe Drinking Water on Tribal Lands


Administering SDWA on Tribal Lands

EPA works with tribal governments and tribal utilities to help their systems comply with the SDWA to improve access to safe drinking water.

EPA is also committed to implementing the goals and principles identified in the Agency’s 1984 Indian Policy. Additionally, EPA’s Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022 and National Water Program Guidance outline measures and targets to improve access to safe drinking water on tribal lands.

Where EPA has primacy, Regional Offices implement the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program and have enforcement authority over tribal drinking water systems.

EPA can authorize primacy to qualified tribes for implementing programs that enforce national standards within their jurisdiction, including the PWSS program. To date, the Navajo Nation is the only tribe that has applied for and received primacy.