News Brief: Hopi Tribe to lower arsenic in drinking water at Cultural Center

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Hopi Tribe has agreed to reduce levels of arsenic in drinking water at the Hopi Cultural Center, a public drinking water system that serves approximately 25 people.

Under the terms of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s administrative order, the Hopi Tribe is required to develop a schedule to comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’s arsenic standard within two months. Within six months, the Tribe must install treatment technology to begin reducing arsenic in the Center’s water.  Prior to complying with the arsenic standard, the Tribe will provide bottled water to guests. The Tribe must also conduct more robust sampling for arsenic, report all arsenic results to the EPA and comply with public notification requirements.    

Arsenic, a naturally occurring mineral found throughout the United States, can be found in groundwater and is a known carcinogen. Drinking high levels of arsenic over many years can increase the chance of lung, bladder and skin cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes and neurological damage. Arsenic inhibits the body’s ability to fight off cancer and other diseases.

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