Editorial: Yakama Nation must disclose plans for clean water

The flag of the Yakama Nation. Image from AAANativeArts

Washington newspaper calls on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Yakama Nation to meet soon to discuss the tribe's clean water plans:
The years-long debate over nitrate pollution of Lower Valley wells has brought us Yakima County’s Groundwater Management Area, a tool that is intended to help fashion a solution to a vexing problem in our area. The state has provided $2.3 million that is being used to test individual wells and to fund studies that can identify agricultural practices that will reduce pollution. Critics blame runoff from dairies as the source of nitrate and bacteria contamination of groundwater.

But GWMA — a mouthful as an acronym — doesn’t cover the entire Lower Valley. Its boundaries stop at those of the Yakama Nation, which in 2010 decided to go in its own direction in protecting its groundwater resource. It was to do so under the oversight of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which provided a $100,000 grant to start the process.

But earlier this month, an EPA official admitted the agency hadn’t checked up on what had happened to the money; a meeting on that topic with tribal representatives will occur soon, in the next couple of months, the official said.

Yes, this meeting should come sooner rather than later.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Reservation residents also have right to clean water (The Yakima Herald-Republic 11/25)

Also Today:
Reservation residents have to solve water contamination issues without Yakima County (The Yakima Herald-Republic 11/16)

Join the Conversation