Akwesasne tribal officials feted by EPA

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St. Lawrence River

FROM THE SAINT REGIS MOHAWK TRIBE:

CORNWALL, Ontario - In 2012, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Planning and Infrastructure Department significantly contributed to improving drinking water quality for the 5,500 people that live in the southern portion of the Akwesasne Community.

The water treatment plant’s water intake was re-located further out into the St. Lawrence River where the water is deeper.  This reduced the vulnerability to turbidity caused by runoff during rainfall events, ice breaks and north winds. 

Chemical usage is also reduced at the treatment plant and less sludge is being generated.  This reduces the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s environmental footprint.

"We appreciate the Environmental Quality Award from the EPA. The project to extend the intake further into better water quality made sense to us. It is for the overall protection of providing safe, clean drinking water to Akwesasne.  At the same time, it lowers costs and reduces disinfection by-products,” said Water Treatment Plant Manager Shawn Martin.  “I would also like to make note that the work done behind the scenes in getting it from the river to homes is done by treatment plant operators. We thank them for their dedication in providing this vital service to the community."

Since the formation of the Planning and Infrastructure Department in 2000, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has been successful in securing funding from the USDA, HUD, IHS and EPA as well as internal funding for numerous water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

The EPA Region 2 acknowledges Director Ernie Thompson and for continued dedication to ensuring that the Akwesasne Community has sustainable infrastructure. 

They continue to demonstrate a high achievement level in the work that they do and other tribes would benefit from hearing their success stories.  Martin and Thompson also took the initiative on their own to make these improvements. They are committed to providing the highest quality drinking water to the Akwesasne Community.  The EPA will present the Environmental Quality Award on Friday April 19, 2013 in New York City. 

Organizations: EPA Region 2, Akwesasne Community, Planning and Infrastructure Department USDA

Geographic location: Ontario, St. Lawrence River, New York City

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