Tag Archives: Environmental Justice

10/27/2011 Forgotten People/WWU EJ Participatory Mapping app wins RunnerUp in EPA Apps for Environment Challenge

Forgotten People and Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University (WWU) EJ Participatory Mapping app wins Runner-Up in EPA Apps for Environment Challenge. The video demonstrates how to use the interactive map showing the proximity of abandoned uranium mines to water sources on the Navajo Nation and a proposed uranium haul route through the Navajo Nation. Here is a live link to the map http://www.wwu.edu/huxley/spatial/fppm/ . If you click on the icon on the header, you can search the various layers. The EJ Participatory Mapping app will be recognized at the Apps for the Environment Forum www.epa.gov/appsfortheenvironment/forum.html on November 8, 2011 in Arlington, VA

10/12/2011 Department of Commerce Releases Draft Environmental Justice Strategy for Public Comment

Department of Commerce Releases Draft Environmental Justice Strategy for Public Comment: The Department of Commerce announces the release of its draft Environmental Justice Strategy.  On August 4, 2011, the Department of Commerce and other Federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop or revise existing environmental justice (EJ) strategies to protect minority and low-income populations from experiencing disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects caused by an agency’s programs, policies, and activities.

In compliance with this commitment, the Department of Commerce is releasing for public comment a draft EJ Strategy, which will completely replace the Department’s original EJ Strategy produced in 1995 in response to Executive Order 12898 section 1-103.  Through October 31, 2011, the Department welcomes any comments or feedback on this draft EJ Strategy.

In addition, the Department is soliciting feedback on the following specific topics:

  • Are there additional Departmental programs, policies, or activities that should be included in the EJ Strategy in addition to those already identified?
  • What should the Department’s environmental justice goals and objectives be in relation to providing and supporting climate science, services and adaptation?

Department of Commerce draft Environmental Justice Strategy:  http://open.commerce.gov/news/2011/09/30/department-commerce-draft-environmental-justice-strategy

DISCLAIMER
Content in this E-mail is not produced by EPA. Any opinions or view expressed in this email do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the U.S. EPA.
00179

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej

To change the way you receive these emails, go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/?forum=epa-ej and click “My Account.”

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to leave-1175765-893243.71bcb4726d331bfe19268c76a35d8324@lists.epa.gov.

US EPA NEJAC Public Meeting 10/25-10/26/2011 Albuq, NM

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Public Meeting 10/25-10/26/2011, Albuquerque, NM: Registration is Now Open: The next face-to-face meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott Hotel, 2101 Louisiana Boulevard, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87109, on October 25 and 26, 2011. The meeting will include a public comment period.

Meeting Registration: Registration is required for everyone (including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] and other federal employees). Advance registration closes at Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011. Meeting materials will be prepared based on the number of participants who have pre-registered by that date.

On-site registration will be available; however, meeting materials will be distributed first to those who registered in advance. Any remaining materials will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are four easy ways to register:

  • Online: Click here (link) to register online.
  • By E-mail: Send an e-mail to Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com with “Register for the NEJAC October 2011 Meeting” in the subject line. Please provide your name, , organization, mailing address (including city, state, and zip code), e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up as necessary.
  • By Fax: Print the web page containing the registration form and fax to 877-773-0779.
  • By Phone: Leave a message at 877-773-0779 . Please provide your name, job title, organization, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up as necessary.
  • Non-English speaking attendees wishing to arrange for a foreign language interpreter also may make appropriate arrangements by calling the number above.

Hotel Reservations: A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the prevailing government rate, under the group code “EPA-NEJAC.” If you are planning to stay at The Albuquerque Marriott for the meeting, you must contact the hotel directly to reserve your room. Call 1-800-334-2086 or by visiting the website http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/abqnm-albuquerque-marriott/?toDate=10/29/11&groupCode=epaepaa&fromDate=10/22/11&app=resvlink. To be eligible for the negotiated room block rate, you must contact the hotel no later than Tuesday, October 11 at midnight.

Public Comment Sign-Up: Members of the public who wish to speak during the Public Comment period should pre-register by Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011. To accommodate the large number of people who want to address the NEJAC, only one representative of a community, organization, or group will be allowed to speak. (On-site public comment sign-up will also be available; however, those who sign-up in advance will be called to speak first.)

Written comments also can be submitted for the record. The suggested format for individuals providing written public comments is as follows:

  • name of speaker
  • name of organization/community
  • city and state
  • e-mail address
  • a brief description of the concern, and what you want the NEJAC to advise EPA to do

Written comments received by Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011, will be included in the materials distributed to the members of the NEJAC. Written comments received after that time will be provided to the NEJAC as time allows. All written comments should be sent to Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com.

You may also be interested in…
The Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice will conduct a community dialogue on Monday, October 24, 2011. Information regarding meeting details will be provided at a later date.

For more information, please contact EPA Support Contractor, APEX Direct Inc., at 877-773-0779 or Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com.

00173

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej

To change the way you receive these emails, go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/?forum=epa-ej and click “My Account.”

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to leave-1174368-893243.71bcb4726d331bfe19268c76a35d8324@lists.epa.gov.

Reminder: National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Public Meeting 10/25-10/26

Reminder: National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Public Meeting October 25-26, 2011: Albuquerque, New Mexico:Registration is Now Open: (*Advance Registration closes October 7*): The next face-to-face meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott Hotel, 2101 Louisiana Boulevard, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87109, on October 25 and 26, 2011. The meeting will include a public comment period.

Meeting Registration: Registration is required for everyone (including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] and other federal employees). Advance registration closes at Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011. Meeting materials will be prepared based on the number of participants who have pre-registered by that date.

On-site registration will be available; however, meeting materials will be distributed first to those who registered in advance. Any remaining materials will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are four easy ways to register:

  • Online: Click here (link) to register online.
  • By E-mail: Send an e-mail to Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com with “Register for the NEJAC October 2011 Meeting” in the subject line. Please provide your name, , organization, mailing address (including city, state, and zip code), e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up as necessary.
  • By Fax: Print the web page containing the registration form and fax to 877-773-0779.
  • By Phone: Leave a message at 877-773-0779. Please provide your name, job title, organization, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up as necessary.
  • Non-English speaking attendees wishing to arrange for a foreign language interpreter also may make appropriate arrangements by calling the number above.

Hotel Reservations: A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the prevailing government rate, under the group code “EPA-NEJAC.” If you are planning to stay at The Albuquerque Marriott for the meeting, you must contact the hotel directly to reserve your room. Call 1-800-334-2086 or by visiting the website http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/abqnm-albuquerque-marriott/?toDate=10/29/11&groupCode=epaepaa&fromDate=10/22/11&app=resvlink. To be eligible for the negotiated room block rate, you must contact the hotel no later than Tuesday, October 11 at midnight.

Public Comment Sign-Up: Members of the public who wish to speak during the Public Comment period should pre-register by Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011. To accommodate the large number of people who want to address the NEJAC, only one representative of a community, organization, or group will be allowed to speak. (On-site public comment sign-up will also be available; however, those who sign-up in advance will be called to speak first.)

Written comments also can be submitted for the record. The suggested format for individuals providing written public comments is as follows:

  • name of speaker
  • name of organization/community
  • city and state
  • e-mail address
  • a brief description of the concern, and what you want the NEJAC to advise EPA to do

Written comments received by Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011, will be included in the materials distributed to the members of the NEJAC. Written comments received after that time will be provided to the NEJAC as time allows. All written comments should be sent to Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com.

You may also be interested in… The Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice will conduct a community dialogue on Monday, October 24, 2011. Information regarding meeting details will be provided at a later date.

For more information, please contact EPA Support Contractor, APEX Direct Inc., at 877-773-0779 or Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com.


If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”
To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej
To change the way you receive these emails, go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/?forum=epa-ej and click “My Account.”
To unsubscribe, send a blank email to leave-1171994-893243.71bcb4726d331bfe19268c76a35d8324@lists.epa.gov.

Vote for Western Washington University-Forgotten People Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping

Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping Vote for Western Washington University Forgotten People mapping Project About the submission: The online map developed in this project uses data from the EPA 2007 Abandon Uranium Mines and the Navajo Nation: Atlas with Geospatial Data to give citizens access to basic information on unregulated water sources and abandoned uranium mine features. The map also provides citizens with the basic tools to visulize the spatial elements of potential environmental hazards.

Environmental Justice is a relatively new field for environmental advocacy. One the many attributes that is illustrative of environmental injustice is proximity to pollution. Developments in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the gathering of spatial data have furthered the implications of environmental justice. The GIS technical expertise is not always available to grassroots organizations and thus the spatial nexus is sometimes missing in the struggle for justice. This project was designed to assist the Navajo grassroots organization The Forgotten People in both policy development and participatory mapping.

9/22/2011 US EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Testimony Before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

9/22/2011 US EPA: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: EPA Press Office, press@epa.gov, 202-564-6794: Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Testimony Before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: As prepared for delivery: Chairman Stearns, Ranking Member DeGette and Members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to testify on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory process. It is a priority of the EPA and of this Administration, to ensure that our regulatory system is guided by science and that it protects human health and the environment in a pragmatic and cost effective manner.

One means by which this Administration has made this priority clear is through Executive Order 13563, which includes a directive for federal agencies to develop a regulatory retrospective plan for periodic review of existing significant regulations. Under that directive, EPA has developed a plan which includes 35 priority regulatory reviews. Recent reforms, already finalized or formally proposed, are estimated to save up to $1.5 billion over the next 5 years.

But let me be clear: the core mission of the EPA is protection of public health and the environment. That mission was established in recognition of a fundamental fact of American life – regulations can and do improve the lives of people. We need these rules to hold polluters accountable and keep us safe. For more than 40 years, the Agency has carried out its mission and established a proven track record that a healthy environment and economic growth are not mutually exclusive.

The Clean Air Act is one of the most successful environmental laws in American history and provides an illustrative example of this point.

For 40 years, the nation’s Clean Air Act has made steady progress in reducing the threats posed by pollution and allowing us to breathe easier. In the last year alone, programs implemented pursuant to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 are estimated to have saved over 160,000 lives; spared Americans more than 100,000 hospital visits; and prevented millions of cases of respiratory problems, including bronchitis and asthma.

Few of the regulations that gave us these huge gains in public health were uncontroversial at the time they were developed. Most major rules have been adopted amidst claims that they would be bad for the economy and bad for employment.

In contrast to doomsday predictions, history has shown, again and again, that we can clean up pollution, create jobs, and grow our economy all at the same time. Over the same 40 years since the Clean Air Act was passed, the Gross Domestic Product of the United States grew by more than 200 percent.

Some would have us believe that “job killing” describes EPA’s regulations. It is misleading to say that enforcement of our nation’s environmental laws is bad for the economy and employment. It isn’t.

Families should never have to choose between a job and a healthy environment. They are entitled to both.

We must regulate sensibly – in a manner that does not create undue burdens and that carefully considers both the benefits and the costs. However, in doing so, we must not lose sight of the reasons for implementation of environmental regulations: These regulations are necessary to ensure that Americans have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Americans are no less entitled to a safe, clean environment during difficult economic times than they are in a more prosperous economy.

As President Obama recently stated in his Joint Address to Congress, “…what we can’t do…is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades…We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom where we try to offer the…worst pollution standards.”

Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I look forward to your questions.

9/16/2011 EPA Advancing Clean Up at 15 Hazardous Waste Sites, Proposing 11 Sites for Action

9/16/2011 Environmental Justice Mailing List: EPA Advancing Clean Up at 15 Hazardous Waste Sites, Proposing 11 Sites for Action: WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding 15 hazardous waste sites that pose risks to people’s health and the environment to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. EPA is also proposing 11 sites to be added to the list. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country with the goal of protecting people’s health and the environment through long-term and short-term cleanup activities.

To date, 1,652 sites have been listed on the NPL. Of these sites, 350 sites have been cleaned up, resulting in 1,302 sites currently on the NPL (including the 15 sites added today). There are 62 proposed sites (including the 11 announced today) awaiting final agency action.

With all NPL sites, EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and require them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. Therefore, it may be several years before significant EPA clean up funding is required for these sites.

The following 15 sites have been added to the National Priorities List:

* Blue Ledge Mine (abandoned mine) in Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest, Calif.;
* New Idria Mercury Mine (abandoned mercury mine) in Idria, Calif.;
* Armstrong World Industries (ceiling tile manufacturer) in Macon, Ga.;
* Sandoval Zinc Company (former zinc smelter) in Sandoval, Ill.;
* Gary Development Landfill (former landfill) in Gary, Ind.;
* Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Columbus (former pressure –treated railroad products manufacturer) in Columbus, Miss.;
* Red Panther Chemical Company (former pesticides formulation plant) in Clarksdale, Miss.;
* Horton Iron and Metal (former fertilizer manufacturer and metal salvage) in Wilmington, N.C.;
* Garfield Ground Water Contamination (contaminated ground water plume) in Garfield, N.J.;
* Chevron Questa Mine (molybdenum mine) in Questa, N.M.;
* New Cassel/Hicksville Ground Water Contamination (contaminated ground water plume) in Hicksville, Hempstead, and
North Hempstead, N.Y.;
* North Ridge Estates (former WWII medical facility) in Klamath Falls, Ore.;
* US Finishing/Cone Mills (former textile operation) in Greenville, S.C.;
* Alamo Contaminated Ground Water (contaminated ground water plume) in Alamo, Tenn.; and
* Falcon Refinery (inactive refinery) in Ingleside, Texas.

The following 11 sites have been proposed to the National Priorities List:

* Jervis B. Webb Co. (former manufacturer) in South Gate, Calif.;
* Seam Master Industries (adhesive manufacturer) in South Gate, Calif.;
* Continental Cleaners (former dry cleaners) in Miami, Fla.;
* Leeds Metal (former scrap metal facility) in Leeds, Maine;
* Compass Plaza Well TCE (contaminated ground water plume) in Rogersville, Mo.;
* Eighteenmile Creek (contaminated creek) in Niagra County, N.Y.;
* Southeastern Wood Preserving (former wood treating operation) in Canton, Miss.;
* Metro Container Corporation (former drum recycler) in Trainer, Pa.;
* Corozal Well (contaminated ground water plume) in Corozal, Puerto Rico;
* US Oil Recovery (used oil recovery facility) in Pasadena, Texas; and
* Bremerton Gasworks (former gasworks facility) in Bremerton, Wash.

Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm

Information about how a site is listed on the NPL: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/npl_hrs.htm

Superfund sites in local communities: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/index.htm

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej

To change the way you receive these emails, go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/?forum=epa-ej and click “My Account.”

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to leave-1169688-893243.71bcb4726d331bfe19268c76a35d8324@lists.epa.gov.

Join US EPA EJ Listserve: EPA Releases Strategy to Protect People's Health & the Environment in Communities Overburdened by Pollution

9/14/2011 Environmental Justice Mailing List – EPA Releases Strategy to Protect People’s Health and the Environment in Communities Overburdened by Pollution: WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of Plan EJ 2014, a three-year, comprehensive plan to advance environmental justice efforts in nine areas, including rulemaking, permitting, enforcement, and science. Plan EJ 2014 aims to protect people’s health in communities overburdened by pollution, to empower communities to take action to improve their health and environment, and to establish partnerships with local, state, tribal and federal governments and organizations to promote sustainable communities where a clean environment and healthy economy can thrive.

“Far too often, and for far too long, low-income, minority and tribal communities have lived in the shadows of some of the worst pollution, holding back progress in the places where they raise their families and grow their businesses,” said Lisa F. Garcia, senior advisor to the EPA Administrator for Environmental Justice. “Today’s release of Plan EJ 2014 underscores Administrator Jackson’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that all communities have access to clean air, water and land, and that all Americans have a voice in this environmental conversation.”

Plan EJ 2014 is EPA’s strategy to meet the mandate of Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” which states that each federal agency, with the law as its guide, should make environmental justice part of its mission.

EPA released the draft plan for public comment in fall 2010 and spring 2011 and held forums and listening sessions in communities across the country.

EPA, along with its federal partners, will continue to conduct outreach, education, stakeholder forums and listening sessions as it moves forward to implement EO 12898 and Plan EJ 2014. EPA will issue annual reports documenting the progress toward meeting the commitments outlined in Plan EJ 2014. The annual reports will be made available to the public through EPA’s website.

Plan EJ 2014: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/plan-ej/index.html

More information on environmental justice: http://epa.gov/environmentaljustice/

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej

To change the way you receive these emails, go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/?forum=epa-ej and click “My Account.”

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to leave-1169111-893243.71bcb4726d331bfe19268c76a35d8324@lists.epa.gov.

9/10/2011 Gallup Independent: Residents suffer while tribes debate water issues

Rose Chewing Lane from Boadaway/Gap drank water from eight of these 55-gallon barrels for several years9/10/2011 Gallup Independent: Residents suffer while tribes debate water issues By Kathy Helms, Dine Bureau: WINDOW ROCK – Members of the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission and the Hopi Tribe will meet next week to discuss water issues brought up by Navajos residing on Hopi Partitioned Land who refused to leave their homes after Congress partitioned the disputed lands in 1974 and forced the relocation of Navajo and Hopi families. In April, after two years of efforts by the grassroots group Forgotten People, U.S. and Navajo agencies, the first load of safe drinking water was delivered to residents in the Black Falls/Box Springs/Grand Falls area near Leupp who were drinking uranium- and arsenic-contaminated water. The group hopes to replicate that success for residents of HPL and the former Bennett Freeze.

On Aug. 22, Forgotten People planned to conduct a meeting of HPL residents at the Big Mountain home of elderly matriarch Pauline Whitesinger to discuss the possibility of implementing the water-hauling pilot project in their area.

Marsha Monestersky, Forgotten People program director, and Ed Becenti, Window Rock liaison, asked Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and other Navajo officials to attend, as well as officials from the Hopi Tribe. But that meeting went belly-up after Hopi informed Navajo that a permit was required and that Monestersky has an exclusion order against her.

“At this time, the Hopi Tribe will not be supporting or attending the meeting,” according to a letter from Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa. “To begin, the issues being raised – water and transportation issues – are Government-to-Government issues. Thus, a request for this type of meeting must come from the Navajo Nation, not the ‘Forgotten People.’”

Shingoitewa said since no one had requested a permit to hold the event, the meeting would be in violation of the Hopi Tribe’s rules and regulations. “Finally, there is a valid and binding exclusion order for Ms. Monestersky. Thus, Ms. Monestersky is not welcome on Hopi land,” he said.

Monestersky, a paralegal, first came to the area in 1975 to assist Navajo HPL residents with relocation issues and taking their case before the United Nations. Those efforts resulted in the first investigation against the United States by the United Nations for human rights violations. Monestersky said she was charged by Hopi with the unauthorized practice of law, accused of being present on HPL on several occasions without a permit, and for writing a $35 check that bounced, making her of “unfit moral character.”

She wrote the check off-reservation to buy an electric heater at Walmart in 1995 because she was “living in a cold, shabby trailer in Winslow” at the time. It was only after she moved to the reservation that she learned the check had bounced. Though she paid it off, she believes the check charge was used as an excuse by Hopi to get her banished forever from HPL.

“If they expel everyone who wrote a bad check, half the people here would be gone,” she said at the time. “What they really wanted to do was stop me from working with Navajo families here and helping them stick up for their rights.”

Pauline Whitesinger said the wells throughout HPL have been capped off, fenced or bulldozed, and the natural water near her home is contaminated. “When I drink the water it hurts my throat and I have a reaction when I swallow it and get sick.”

Raymond Maxx, executive director of the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission, said Friday that they met recently with HPL residents who brought up the water issues. “We don’t know why the wells were capped off. We’re supposed to have a meeting with the Hopis this coming week regarding the issue.”

Louella Nahsonhoya, public information officer for Hopi, said the tribe is reviewing the issues and is moving cautiously with advice. Calls to Clayton Honyumptewa, director of Hopi Department of Natural Resources, were not returned.

Rena Babbitt Lane, whose husband passed away years ago after suffering a ruptured aneurysm while trying to open a cover from a dismantled well, attended the Aug. 26 meeting at Hardrock Chapter. Through her daughters Mary and Zena Lane, Rena said the number one priority everyone talked about is water.

“The Navajo Nation said the Hopi Tribe told them they capped off the wells because they did not want people to drink contaminated water. We need water for our livestock and we were never told anything by the Hopis. What is the water contaminated with? Why did they just destroy all the water resources without telling us why, even the Rocky Ridge well for Big Mountain residents?”

Lane, who is in her 80s, said they have to buy water from the chapter house and haul it 16 miles one way on a sandy road filled with potholes. Unlike in Window Rock, the monsoon season has not been kind. “The water ponds are filled with sand and the water when it does come does not last. We need tractors to dig out the water ponds and a water well near our home,” she said.

“We can’t really depend on our Council people and the Hopi and Navajo government. They are of no help to those of us that live on HPL. When we tell them something, both tribes point a finger at each other and no one helps us.”

Caroline Tohannie, an elder born and raised on Black Mesa, said they are suffering health problems and sickness because of the land dispute. “To this day there are a lot of arguments with both tribal councils. Why is it like that when they are supposed to work for the people to improve our lives? Can’t we work out our disagreements with the traditional people instead of the tribal councils? That is the way we want it.

“We need to reintroduce the greetings between the traditional Hopi and Navajos to straighten out our differences in that manner. In our language, k’e has to be regenerated. We have to reintroduce our greetings at the fireplace with the fire stick. Those are the laws of the traditional people and we need to follow the red road again.”

EPA Announces Settlement with the Department of the Interior to Resolve Violations at DOI Schools in Indian Country/ Comprehensive settlement to improve environmental conditions at 164 DOI schools in Indian Country

8/25/2011 US EPA Environmental Justice Mailing List: EPA Announces Settlement with the Department of the Interior to Resolve Violations at DOI Schools in Indian Country/ Comprehensive settlement to improve environmental conditions at 164 DOI schools in Indian Country, benefitting more than 40,000 students

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a comprehensive settlement with the Department of the Interior (DOI) to address alleged violations of waste, water, air, toxics and community right-to-know laws at schools and public water systems in Indian Country owned, operated, or the legal responsibility of DOI’s Indian Affairs Office. The settlement will protect students’ health and the health of communities in Indian Country by reducing potential exposure to environmental hazards.

“Children are more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults, which is why ensuring that schools provide safe, healthy learning environments for our children, particularly in tribal communities, is a top priority for EPA,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s landmark settlement will help strengthen public health and environmental protection in Indian Country and will improve environmental management practices at federally managed tribal schools.”

Under the settlement, the DOI’s Indian Affairs Office, comprised of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), will correct all of the alleged violations at 72 schools and 27 water systems. DOI will implement an environmental compliance auditing program and an environmental management system (EMS), designed to improve environmental practices at all of its BIE schools and BIA public water systems serving these schools. DOI has also agreed to install a solar energy system which will serve a school located in the Grand Canyon. The solar energy project will help ensure a more reliable source of electricity for the school and local community. DOI will also pay a civil penalty of $234,844 which it must spend to correct violations of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) at its schools.

EPA conducted compliance inspections and data reviews at more than 100 BIE/BIA schools and public water systems. The settlement addresses all alleged violations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act’s PCB provisions, and AHERA.

The settlement affects 60 tribes throughout the U.S. which have DOI Office of Indian Affairs schools or public water systems on or near their tribal lands. Consistent with EPA’s consultation process with tribes, EPA consulted with the 60 tribes affected prior to finalization of the settlement agreement.

More information on the settlement: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/federal/bia-settlement.html
00157

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej

To change the way you receive these emails, go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/?forum=epa-ej and click “My Account.”

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to leave-1164707-893243.71bcb4726d331bfe19268c76a35d8324@lists.epa.gov.