Hopi Tribe struggles to address high levels of arsenic in water

The Hopi Cultural Center on Second Mesa, Arizona. Photo from Facebook

The Hopi Tribe of Arizona is trying to find the funds needed to address high levels of arsenic in its water system.

Arsenic levels on the reservation range from twice the acceptable limit to nearly five times the limit, according to a lawsuit that the tribe lost in federal court. But fixing the problem requires $18 million to $20 million and the tribe doesn't have the money, The Arizona Republic reported.

"We’re trying to do as much as we can with as little as we have," l Vice Chairman Alfred Lomahquahu Jr. told the paper.

As part of an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, the tribe will address arsenic levels at the Hopi Cultural Center. According to the agency, the fixes will address water used by about 25 people.

The situation at the center represents only a small part of the picture. The tribe estimates that about three-quarters of the 7,000 people living on the reservation are drinking arsenic-tainted water, The Republic reported.

According to the EPA, high levels of arsenic in drinking water can lead to cancer, organ damage, circulatory system disorders and other health problems.

Read More on the Story:
Arsenic in Hopis' water twice the EPA limit, and it may be making them sick (The Arizona Republic 8/25)
Hopi Cultural Center to Reduce Arsenic in Drinking Water (KNAU 8/24)

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Hopi Tribe v. US (April 2, 2015)

Court of Federal Claims Decision:
Hopi Tribe v. US (October 4, 2013)

Related Stories
Hopi Tribe loses bid to force US to pay for clean drinking water (4/3)
Judge dismisses Hopi Tribe suit over arsenic in water supply (10/9)

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