EPA Fines Hopi Over Arsenic In Drinking Water

By Laurel Morales
Published: Monday, December 2, 2019 - 5:51pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 8:43am
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Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

Federal officials have fined the Hopi Tribe for failing to reduce arsenic levels in its drinking water at the Hopi Cultural Center.

The Hopi Tribe has agreed to pay the $3,800 fine and to finish building a treatment system by early next year. Hopi officials say they have set aside the money for the project and chosen contractors. The fine comes at a time when the tribe is trying to fill a large budget gap the coal industry left when it shut down last month.

The water system is part of a 2016 agreement with the tribe and the EPA. The Hopi Cultural Center supplies water for 25 people. A regional water pipeline is also in the works.

High levels of arsenic in drinking water can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and neurological damage.

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