Sep 28, 2016

U.S. EPA Grants $2.7 Million to American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency

Funding to support clean air, water & land

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant of more than $2.7 million to the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) for its environmental protection programs.

“EPA’s funding enables American Samoa to pursue its goals of clean air, water and land,” said Alexis Strauss, acting EPA regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We appreciate American Samoa EPA’s work that benefits the island residents and their natural resources.”

ASEPA will use the funds to support air, water and land inspections; monitor the safety of beaches and drinking water; clean up sites contaminated by waste; improve piggery environmental compliance; monitor water quality; protect coral reefs; and respond to emergencies.

Other current ASEPA project priorities include:

  • Improve its ability to assess watershed health, stream water quality and coral reef health, and develop a training toolkit using ecosystem health monitoring criteria. This includes a comprehensive ridge-to-reef assessment program and collection of data that can be used to predict threats to ecosystem health in the watersheds, pinpoint specific sources of degradation and develop models for identifying threats to coral.
  • Work to remove the existing boil-water notices on the island of Tutuila and ensure access to potable drinking water for all residents.
  • Protect the Faga’alu watershed, which was designated a priority watershed by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, and its coral reefs through the reduction of silt and contaminants into Faga’alu stream.
  • Protect human health and reduce leptospirosis through implementation of ASEPA’s Piggery Compliance Program.
  • Educate farmers on proper pesticide application techniques and eliminate illegal importation and use of unregistered/foreign pesticides.
  • Protect coastal waters, coral reefs and the indigenous biota through water quality monitoring and beach monitoring to ensure American Samoa has clean beaches for swimming and fishing.
  • Conduct outreach and education to American Samoa’s schools and communities, including the “Keep American Samoa Beautiful” Campaign and American Samoa’s Anti-Litter Program.
  • Clean up and support the development of formerly contaminated sites.
  • Inspect underground and aboveground fuel storage tanks.

EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations, and is home to more than 48 million people.