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Resident questions if all water is held to same standards

Posted: September 17, 2013 - 7:59pm  |  Updated: September 17, 2013 - 8:06pm

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), an Environmental Justice Small Grant has been given to the Seldovia Village Tribe to test water from wells in their community. http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/publications/grants/ej-smgrants-recipients-2013.pdf

Specifically, it states: “Seldovia Village Tribe, Seldovia, AK. The Seldovia Village Tribe Safe Drinking Water Project will address the need to test residential wells and local waterways for contaminants including arsenic, iron and lead to determine if levels surpass EPA standards and present a health risk to community members. These test results will be used by the tribe’s Environmental Office to evaluate the extent of health risks posed to the community through unsafe drinking water and to strategize cost efficient ways to minimize toxic exposure to community members.”

The people of Nikiski live on top of an aquifer that has been contaminated by decades of unregulated dumping of chemical waste. As of this date, no request has been made to the EPA to test the wells north of the refinery.

One begins to wonder if we Alaskans, who happen to be non-native, are simply ignored so that the federal central government can look good throwing money at native groups.

One begins to wonder also as to what advantage representative government is when it fails to protect the people who voted it into office? 

Norm Olson,

Nikiski

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