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DALLAS – (Nov. 20, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded more than $157,000 to the Cherokee Nation to support water quality programs. The funding will help the Nation maintain, protect and improve the water quality of its rivers, lakes, groundwater and other waterbodies.

“The Cherokee Nation, through its Environmental Protection Commission, has proven to be an effective steward of its water resources,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “EPA is pleased to continue supporting the Nation’s efforts to grow and strengthen their water quality programs.”

EPA’s grant of $157,559 will help the Cherokee Nation maintain good water quality in non-polluted, or “unimpaired,” waterbodies and reduce the number of polluted, or “impaired,” waterbodies on tribal lands.  The grant will support the Nation’s data-gathering efforts to determine how to maintain or protect water quality, note changes in quality or condition of waters, and understand and define the function and health of stream ecosystems.

Background:

Since 1987, EPA has delegated certain environmental programs and authorities to federally recognized tribes that meet specific stringent criteria. These tribes, including Cherokee Nation, are eligible to receive EPA grants to support programs that carry out federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act. The grants help tribal nations design and implement effective water quality programs, including pollution prevention and water-quality improvement.

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More about EPA’s Clean Water Act tribal grant program: https://www.epa.gov/water-pollution-control-section-106-grants/tribal-grants-under-section-106-clean-water-act

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