EPA awards tribes over $86,000

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a $38,553 grant to the Yurok Tribe and $47,798 to the Karuk Tribe in Northern California to improve solid waste management practices within their communities following significant illegal dump cleanups led by a state-funded contractor with tribal assistance.

To date, more than 200 tons of solid and hazardous waste, including tires, appliances, batteries, flammable and toxic solids, and 400 vehicles have been removed from the Klamath River watershed. The cleanup effort began in October 2008 and has since significantly reduced health threats caused by illegal dumping along the Klamath and Trinity Rivers.

The tribes will use the EPA grants to integrate and expand current recycling programs and develop a system to track current recycling in an effort to move their communities back toward sustainable waste management practices.

In August 2008, the California Integrated Waste Management Board approved $800,000 in initial funding.