Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)
October 21, 2020
VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK – Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) applauded the announcement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had awarded $120,000 to the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency (NNEPA) to assist community health efforts near the former Navajo Forest Products Industry (NFPI) sawmill.
“For decades, the public health needs of tribal communities have been on the backburner at the federal level, from environmental concerns to sanitation infrastructure,” said O’Halleran. “I look forward to seeing the good this funding and these important community health initiatives will do to improve public health for families on the Navajo Nation.”
The $120,000 award is part of the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program that provides funding for non-profit and tribal organizations to partner with stakeholders and implement solutions to address environmental and public health issues.
The Navajo Nation EPA will use the funds to further initiatives to protect the community from the health effects of the former NFPI site. This includes technical job training to help local residents install and check monitors, as well as collect health surveys to assist in the development of a health assessment report to help identify and reduce potential exposure and health effects from the site.
This year, O’Halleran introduced H.R. 7056, bipartisan legislation to allocate funding for the Indian Health Services Sanitation Facilities Construction Program to construct and improve critical sanitation projects across Indian Country.