indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Navajo Nation cleaning up storage tank sites
Monday, January 26, 2004

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. signed a contract on Friday to start the cleanup of dozens of underground storage tanks, a problem faced throughout Indian Country.

The tribe's Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are more than 77 abandoned sites on the reservation that need action. The contract that Shirley signed with Iina' ba' Incorporated, a Navajo-owned business based in Shiprock, New Mexico, focuses on 21 locations.

Tribal officials said the work satisfies two important goals. Removing the tanks keeps groundwater safe for thousands who depend on it. And the cleanup makes the sites more attractive to businesses.

"Economic development and a clean, healthy environment are essential to the Navajo Nation," Shirley said.

"We would rather have a potential business developer reuse a business site that does not have any abandoned underground storage tanks," added Allen Begay, the head of the tribe's Division of Economic Development. "Overall, it encourages the small business person to consider doing business on the Navajo Nation."

Nationwide, underground storage tanks pose a number of concerns for tribes. Petroleum and other toxic substances contained in the fuel can contaminate groundwater. There is also the potential for fire and explosion.

In recent years, there has been progress in ensuring health and safety on reservations, according to the federal government. Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency statistics, the number of active tank sites has dropped dramatically from 1995 to 2001 while the number of closed, or clean, sites has risen.

In 2002, one region of the EPA alone oversaw cleanup efforts at more than 100 tanks on reservations. One site was in Tuba City, Arizona, where a non-Indian company's tank leaked, threatening water on both the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

For the fiscal year ending September 2003, EPA reported more than 1,000 confirmed leaks of storage tanks in Indian Country. Cleanup actions were started at 945 sites and cleanup was completed at 592 sites.

One region in particular saw a high number of confirmed leaks. According to the EPA, there were more than 400 leaks on reservations in region 8, which covers the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

Region 8 and Region 9 -- which covers tribes in the states of Arizona, California and Nevada -- have the highest number of active tanks and closed tanks. Region 5 -- covering tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio -- also saw significant activity last year, the EPA reported.

Funding for underground storage tank cleanup in Indian Country comes primarily from the federal government. EPA is authorized to use federal funds because tribes can't tap directly into the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund that was set up by federal law. LUST is financed by a 0.1 cent tax on each gallon of motor fuel sold nationwide.

Some tribes use their own funds for cleanup activities. The Navajo Nation through the Underground Storage Tank Act of 1998, collects fees from owners and operators of tanks. The law imposes a comprehensive set of regulations for tanks on the reservation.

Relevant Documents:
FY 2003 Semi-Annual End-of-Year Activity Report on Underground Storage Tanks (November 25, 2003) | Navajo Nation Underground Storage Tank Act of 1998

Relevant Links:
Navajo Nation EPA - http://www.navajoepa.org
EPA Underground Storage Tanks - http://www.epa.gov/swerust1/index.htm

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Quinault Nation prepares for journey to Standing Rock encampment (12/2)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois prophecies warn of grave dangers (12/2)
Brandon Ecoffey: Media gets it wrong on Dakota Access frontlines (12/2)
Bronson Koenig: What I found during my journey to Standing Rock (12/2)
Timothy Egan: Fake cowboys cheered while the real Indians suffer (12/2)
Lakota Country Times: Laced marijuana finds its way to Pine Ridge (12/2)
Native Sun News Today: Owner of Wounded Knee site lowers price (12/2)
David Ganje: An opportunity for tribes to clean up their homelands (12/2)
Mary Annette Pember: Tribal member arrested for string of arsons (12/2)
Tiffany Midge: The women are here and we have a message for you (12/2)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe calls for safety as veterans head to camp (12/1)
North Dakota sheriff scrubs Facebook of incriminating information (12/1)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp considers role in Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Daniel Brown: Ho-Chunk Nation celebrates a new day in Wisconsin (12/1)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL kitchen in need of more supplies (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe summons allies (12/1)
Vi Waln: Sacred fire burns at Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota (12/1)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Veterans at Standing Rock for the good fight (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Duane Big Crow relishes role in coaching (12/1)
Clara Caufield: Community at Northern Cheyenne stays connected (12/1)
Steven Newcomb: A message to the Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Alaska Native designer brings subsistence fashion to new audience (12/1)
Tohono O'odham Nation and state remain at odds in casino dispute (12/1)
United Keetoowah Band won't talk about plans for potential casino (12/1)
Wilton Rancheria continues to face mysterious opposition to casino (12/1)
Non-Indian firm set to open $1.3B casino outside of nation's capital (12/1)
Native youth remain hopeful as nation transitions to new president (11/30)
Sioux Nation to President Obama: Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (11/30)
Mark Trahant: Indian health care at risk with Trump administration (11/30)
Lakota Country Times: Herbalist brings medicine to Standing Rock (11/30)
Dana Lone Hill: A big 'wopila' to all the #NoDAPL water protectors (11/30)
Kelly Hayes: My whole heart is with the #NoDAPL water protectors (11/30)
Large veterans group heads to #NoDAPL frontline in North Dakota (11/30)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne college hosts summit (11/30)
James Giago Davies: Mixed-race Indians forced to choose identity (11/30)
Cronkite News: Navajo chef takes helm at NMAI in nation's capitol (11/30)
Billy Stratton: The soldiers who refused the Sand Creek Massacre (11/30)
Gabriel Ray: Scotts Valley Band working to re-establish homeland (11/30)
Steve Russell: Resisting apartheid and genocide in the Trump era (11/30)
Charges filed after two children found malnourished at Pine Ridge (11/30)
Four Alaska Natives dead amid state outbreak of strep bacteria (11/30)
Pokagon Band breaks ground on housing project on Indiana land (11/30)
Ancestral remains found in Washington are about 2300 years old (11/30)
Former casino worker took $23K from Northern Cheyenne Tribe (11/30)
Sheriff hit with lawsuit as governor moves in on #NoDAPL camp (11/29)
Dakota Access Pipeline almost finished except at Lake Oahe site (11/29)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.