Thursday, July 27, 2017

EPA, Choctaw Nation celebrate drinking water quality project in local school

EPA, Choctaw Nation celebrate drinking water quality project in local school
In a celebration of interagency and tribal coordination, the Choctaw Nation’s Jones Academy, located near Hartshorne, Oklahoma, recently successfully addressed water quality issues related to disinfection byproducts.
 
“At EPA, it’s our job to help every community have equal access to clean air, water and land,” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Ron Curry said. “This example shows how tribes, local leaders and EPA develop solutions to make communities great places to live, play and work.”
 
The EPA issued an administrative order on the issue in May 2014, which was delivered through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The BIA formed a team consisting of EPA, Choctaw Nation, Jones Academy and Eastern Oklahoma tribal schools representatives -- as well as other local stakeholders -- worked with the school to improve drinking water quality and, therefore, protect the health and well-being of students and faculty at the school.
 
“The partnership between EPA, the BIA and Choctaw Nation was significant in ensuring safe drinking water for the kids at Jones Academy,” Chief Gary Batton said. “I want to thank everyone who was dedicated to improving the water system, from the planning stages until it was complete.”
 
The project was part of the EPA’s Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda.

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