The following is a Seattle Times article and some EPA sites relavant to
the Navajo/Dineh.
Many of these EPA sites have not been updated for quite awhile,
but they contain interesting information and contacts.

My search for these sites was spurred by an article sent in by Diane Reese
entitled "Federal, state officials called lax on pollution laws."


The article appears below (for those without web access), followed by
the various EPA sites. Fred Hansen,
who is mentioned in the article, can be reached at:

Honorable Fred Hansen
Deputy Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 26460

A cursery read of the EPA websites leads me to believe that the EPA is
interested in the relatively small amount of pollution created by the Navajo
people than it is in the gross pollution created by Peabody Western Coal

The EPA Enforcement website at has a good article:
"Compliance With Permitting Critical To Clean Air Act Goals" at-- It would appear that Peabody
Coal is due for some enforcement activity. Your feedback comments can
be entered
into the form at:
Nation and World



Copyright © 1998 The Seattle Times Company

Posted at 10:03 p.m. PDT; Sunday, June 7, 1998

Federal, state officials called lax on pollution laws

by John H. Cushman Jr.
The New York Times

WASHINGTON - The inspector general of the Environmental Protection
Agency has documented widespread failures
by federal and local officials in several states, including Washington,
to police even the most basic requirements of the
nation's clean-air and clean-water laws.

In a series of new reports, the environmental agency's independent
auditing arm found waste-water treatment plants
operating with obsolete permits or with none at all, inspectors failing
to visit and review factories, and states falling short
of federal goals.

The reports blamed both federal and state officials for the shortcomings.
Investigators found that state officials failed to
enforce the laws and to report violations to the federal government,
but they also found that federal officials were remiss
in enforcing the law and in supervising the state authorities.

As part of a nationwide examination of environmental enforcement that
began two years ago, the reports point to
problems that are probably not isolated in the relatively few states
where audits were done, senior EPA officials said.
Most states may be enforcing the laws most of the time, the officials
said, but the sampling probably uncovered
conditions that exist to varying degrees all over the country.

Fred Hansen, the EPA's deputy administrator, said in an interview
that the audits showed "a troubling trend of possible
deficiencies, at least in some states."

In two states, Idaho and Alaska, the inspectors found that federal
authorities had not issued or renewed hundreds of
permits required for factories and waste-water treatment plants, often
for as long as 10 years. Officials issued only a
handful of permits each year as part of a policy of focusing attention
on a few major sources of pollution.

Very few formal enforcement actions were taken against polluters in
those states when they significantly violated the
terms of their outdated permits, an audit disclosed.

In Washington state, where state officials had reported that only
seven of the 178 major air-pollution sources were
violating permits, the auditors sampled 31 locations and found 17
in violation. The state's inspections were inadequate to
meet federal standards, the auditors found.

In New Mexico, about half the major air-pollution sources as defined
by the Clean Air Act were never inspected from
1990 to 1996. In 1995 and 1996, the state stopped reporting significant
violations of air-quality regulations to the federal
government as the rules required. Even after the federal agency complained
and the reports resumed, the state neglected
to report about a third of the violations.

In 75 percent of the streams in Missouri, the state did not adopt
the Clean Water Act's central goal of making the water
clean enough for swimming, and ignored the federal requirement for
studies to demonstrate that this 25-year-old goal
was unachievable.

The state sets water-quality criteria for several pollutants at lower
levels than the federal government - without
justification, a report said.

In the reviews, investigators looked at two types of pollution: emissions
into the air from operations regulated under the
Clean Air Act, like factory boilers, and discharges into the water
from operations regulated under the Clean Water Act,
like waste-water outlets.

Their goal was to determine whether inspections were being conducted,
permits obeyed and violations reported
according to longstanding federal regulations. As in most such audits,
the inspectors did not disclose the names of most
of the pollution sources they examined; they combined their findings
and analyzed the patterns to describe systematic
failures in enforcement.

Officials said the reports raised questions about the dedication of
the states to enforcing pollution laws and the
capabilities of federal and state workers to keep up with the millions
of specific pollution-control requirements that are
intended to govern emissions from thousands of factories and treatment

While the pollution-control authorities who were criticized in the
documents generally agreed with the reports'
conclusions and promised to fix many of the problems, they appeared
in some cases to be slow in adopting the changes
that they had promised, the inspector general's office reported.



EPA's Native American Network newsletter provides information
to help
interested parties stay on top of MSW management issues
Indian Country. It features articles on tribal waste
management programs,
information about important laws, tips for obtaining
funding, and updates
on conferences and publications. The Agency hopes the
newsletter will
help all of us to better work together for the preservation
and protection
of the environment in Indian Country.

AIEO UPDATE (American Indian Environmental Office)

Friends, Associates and Customers of AIEO: AIEO UPDATE is published at
least four times each year to keep you informed of the activities of
the USEPA's American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO). We greatly
encourage your input and feedback. AIEO UPDATE will be available
through electronic mail and in the EPA AIEO Web Page under "What's
New" and "Publications." Please contact Marlene Regelski at
(202) 260-7284 or through e-mail for more information or submissions
you may have.


[you have to cut and paste these long URLs into the "Open Page"
of your


Group Name: Puerco Valley Navajo Clean Water Association
Contact: Raymond Morgan
Contact Address: PO Box 951
Thoreau, New Mexico 87323
Contact Phone: 505-488-5763
Activity:Watershed Alliance/Council
Description:To help communities develop a clean, dependable water
Data Provided By: River Network
Address: PO Box 8787
Portland, Oregon 97207
Phone: (503) 241-3506


Group Name: Navajo Natural Heritage Program
Contact Address: PO Box 1480
Window Rock, Arizona 86515
Contact Phone: 520-871-6472
Activity:Watershed Alliance/Council
Description:Collection, management, and dissemination of information
on the distribution and status of rare
and/or protected plant and animal species and biotic communities on
the Navajo Nation.
Data Provided By: River Network
Address: PO Box 8787
Portland, Oregon 97207
Phone: (503) 241-3506


United States Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Brownfields Pilot - Navajo Nations, AZ
Publication: EPA 500-F-97-023
May 1997
Office of Outreach and Special Projects (5101)
Quick Reference Fact Sheet



EPA's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is designed to empower
States, communities, and other stakeholders in
economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent,
assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse
brownfields. A brownfield is a site, or portion thereof, that has actual
or perceived contamination and an active potential for
redevelopment or reuse. Between 1995 and 1996, EPA funded 76 National and
Regional Brownfields Assessment Pilots, at
up to $200,000 each, to support creative two-year explorations and demonstrations
of brownfields solutions. EPA is funding
more than 27 Pilots in 1997. The Pilots are intended to provide EPA, States,
Tribes, municipalities, and communities with useful
information and strategies as they continue to seek new methods to promote
a unified approach to site assessment,
environmental cleanup, and redevelopment.




Date of Award: September 1996

Amount: $200,000

Site Profile: The Pilot targets a10.5 acre, former timber mill site in
the eastern third of the Navajo Nation




EPA selected the Navajo Nation for a Brownfields Pilot. The Tribe's 10-Year
Forest Management Plan expired in 1992,
eliminating access to tribal timber resources. The Navajo Forest Product
Industries (NFPI) mill site in Navajo, New Mexico,
closed in April 1995 because of the cost of using off-reservation timber
and is now abandoned. There are 300 unemployed mill
workers in the local tribal community of 2,293 people. Most NFPI employees
were from the Tribe's Red Lake Chapter. The
10.5 acre site included a particle-board factory and millworks with machinery
and maintenance shops. A site inspection has
revealed clear evidence of potentially hazardous substances in the environment,
including PCBs, acids, solvents, and batteries.
Employment for local residents is needed to replace jobs lost from the
closed mill.


The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency outlines five overall
objectives: 1) identify all hazardous substances
on-site or in groundwater; 2) assess public health and environmental risks;
3) educate the community about the problem; 4)
develop an effective and affordable remedial design; and 5) after the two-year
grant period, clean up and revitalize the NFPI
industrial complex. The Navajo Nation and the local people want to lease
part or all of the site facilities to a lumber milling
company and recall as many of the laid off employees as possible. The logging
operation can take place while the new 10-Year
Forest Management Plan is being developed.


The Pilot is:

Scoping the local community's needs and concerns, including a door-to-door
outreach and education campaign
conducted in the Navajo language;

Assessing the site to determine the cleanup status of each component
of the NFPI facility;

Conducting a public tribal meeting to secure a Letter of Decision
commitment by the Red Lake Chapter to lease all or
part of the site to help finance remediation of NFPI facility; and

Preparing a site remediation plan.


Lorenda Joe
Acting Director Navajo Nation
Environmental Protection Agency
(520) 871-7692

Steve Simanonok
U.S. EPA - Region 9
(415) 744-2358

Visit the EPA Brownfields Website at:



United States
Environmental Protection
Agency (5101)
Washington, DC 20460

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300

NPDES Permit Program - Technical Assistance

Navajo Nation Environmental
Protection Agency


Navajo Nation EPA
NPDES Program
P.O. Box 339
Window Rock, AZ 86515
Telephone: (520) 871-7185 or 7186
Fax: (520) 871-7599
Navajo Nation EPA (MNEPA)

The Navajo Environmental Protection
Commission was established in 1972.
1995, enabling legislation made the Navajo Nation Environmental
Agency (NNEPA) a separate regulatory entity within the executive
branch of the
Navajo Nation government. NNEPA is charged with protecting
human health,
welfare, and the environment of the Navajo Nation. In April
1995, the Navajo
Nation Council passed the Navajo Nation Environmental Policy
Act which
provides guidance for NNEPA and instills Navajo philosophy
regarding the
protection of Mother Earth.

The mission of NNEPA is as follows:
respect to Dine values, protect, preserve,
enhance our Navajo environment for
and future generations by developing
implementing, and enforcing strong
environmental laws; implementing, and
enforcing strong environmental laws;
to foster
public awareness and cooperation through

U.S EPA Region 9 (San Francisco) is the lead region working
with all the
NNEPA programs.

Navajo NPDES Program

The Navajo NPDES Program began in September 1992 with a federal
grant from
U.S. EPA under Section 104(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act.

The mission of the Navajo NPDES Program is to “Protect public
health, welfare,
and the environment form discharge of pollutants into waters
of the Navajo Nation
and from the use and disposal of sewage sludge on Navajo lands”

There are 35 NPDES permits
for facilities that discharge of
may discharge wastewater on
the Navajo Nation. These
types of facilities include:
sewage treatment
plants/lagoons, power plants,
coal mines, oil field tank
batteries, and agricultural
industry. There are also several
facilities on the Navajo Nation
covered under NPDES general
permit for storm waste

Statement of Problems

Presently, the Navajo Nation must rely on U.S. EPA Region 9
to issue NPDES
permits, enforce permit compliance, and respond to NPDES-related
Due to our geographical location, Region 9 may not be able
to respond to all

Numerous unpermittted NPDES
activities occur on the Navajo
Nation: over-flowing sewer
lagoons indiscriminate dumping
of septic tank waste; discharges
of wastewater from oil field
batteries; unchecked storm
water runoff from both industrial
and construction utility sites;
well as, unpermitted
off-reservation discharges
impacting the Navajo Nation.

Program Goal

The goal of the Navajo NPDES Program is to obtain U.S. EPA-approved
authorization to operate NPDES, pretreatment, and sludge management
Currently, staff are working on a program Submission Package,
and application
for program authority. The Navajo Nation will likely be the
first Indian Tribe to
receive NPDES program authorization.

NPDES Program

A permit program that regulates the discharge of pollutants
from a point source to
waters of the U.S. through issuance of permits to discrete
discharges of pollution.
NPDES permits include effluent limits, compliance schedules,
motoring and
reporting requirements, and other necessary conditions. The
Navajo NPDES
Program currently assists USEPA Region 9 in reviewing and submitting
recommendations on permit applications.

Pretreatment Program

The Navajo NPDES Program will regulate industrial discharges
to municipal,
publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs). Since industry wastes
can interfere
with the operation of the treatment plants or pass thought
the system untreated.
States, Tribes, and local authorities establish local limits
to prohibit harmful
discharges from industry and to establish monitoring and reporting

Sludge Management Program

This portion of the Navajo NPDES Program regulates the use
and disposal of
sewage sludge, which includes septic tank waste. Sludge can
be sent to a
municipal land full or surface disposal site, incinerated,
or applied to land as a
fertilizer. The Navajo NPDES program will be responsible for
establishing quality
standards for sewage sludge, and will require POTWs to establish
management practices. All requirements will be specified in
the NPDES permits, in
separate “sludge only” permits issued to the POTWs or though
regulations issued


In its brief existence, the Navajo
Program has accomplished the following:

Submission of an eligibility
(Treatment-AS-A State) application
Inventory of actual and potential
source discharges on the Navajo
Drafting of NPDES discharge permits
for Navajo-based facilities.
Development of a tribal NPDES code.
Joint NNEPA-U.S. EPA compliance
inspections of NPDES permitted
Investigation of complaints by
residents and chapters on
NPDES-related incidents.




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