your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
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 -
EPA Underground Storage Tanks -

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:
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye endorses Hillary Clinton (10/21)
Twenty-Nine Palms Band disputes 'Trump, You're Fired' story (10/21)
Repatriation review committee announces additional meetings (10/21)
Native Sun News Today: Ping-pong continues in #NoDAPL case (10/21)
Lakota Country Times: 'Reel Jobs' school nurtures Lakota talent (10/21)
James Giago Davies: Drugs and crime overrun our reservations (10/21)
Dana Lone Hill: Becoming a grandmother is life's highest honor (10/21)
Misty Perkins: Indigenous voices are lost in colonial translation (10/21)
John Leguizamo: Who was 'mistreating indigenous people' first? (10/21)
Bureau of Land Management confirms repatriation for ancestor (10/21)
Cowlitz Tribe opposes coal export terminal on aboriginal lands (10/21)
Crow Tribe signs agreement to resolve long-running tax dispute (10/21)
National Indian Gaming Commission refutes online gaming claim (10/21)
Pinoleville Pomo Nation stays quiet on long-delayed casino plan (10/21)
Alaska tribes enter new era with first land-into-trust application (10/20)
Native leaders in Alaska endorse Hillary Clinton in historic move (10/20)
Bureau of Indian Affairs finishes update to model juvenile code (10/20)
Utah group aims to elevate Native issues in an unusual election (10/20)
Chemehuevi Tribe secures approval of HEARTH Act regulations (10/20)
Poarch Band of Creek Indians can't be sued for firing employee (10/20)
Native Sun News Today: Oglala veteran shot and killed by police (10/20)
Lakota Country Times: Founders of annual Spiritual Run honored (10/20)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Education system diminishes our people (10/20)
Brandon Ecoffey: It's business as usual for South Dakota's GOP (10/20)
Morgan Rodman: Federal agencies work to protect treaty rights (10/20)
Mary Annette Pember: First baby born at water protector camp (10/20)
Duane Yazzie: Spirituality prevails as #NoDAPL fight continues (10/20)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opens reservation to #NoDAPL camp (10/20)
Haskell University confirms president is still under investigation (10/20)
Agua Caliente Band back in federal court to defend water rights (10/20)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe removes members amid per cap woes (10/20)
Ho-Chunk Nation moves forward with $33M expansion at casino (10/20)
Cowlitz Tribe announces more executives for fast-rising casino (10/20)
Wilton Rancheria continues to make progress on casino project (10/20)
Agency shifts course as ancient remains slated for repatriation (10/19)
Navajo Nation opposes bill that reduces share of trust revenues (10/19)
Doug George-Kanentiio: A voice for residential school survivors (10/19)
Native Sun News Today: LNI hosts girls volleyball tournament (10/19)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe voters send message (10/19)
Editorial: Republicans in South Dakota embrace Monster Trump (10/19)
Vi Waln: Water protector camps overflow with spiritual energy (10/19)
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.