Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Johnson, EPA improving water resources in Indian Country

Just announced: the Bureau of Reclamation FY 2014 budget request includes water projects in tribal nations:
$40 million for rural water projects to undertake the design and construction of five projects and operation and maintenance of tribal features for two projects intended to deliver potable water supplies to specific rural communities and tribes located primarily in Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Also submitted to President Obama was a water-intensive budget request from the US Geological Survey.

While Sen. don Juan Thune (earth hater-SD) is voting against Indian Country blizzard conditions have been hammering Pine Ridge.

Now he's bleating resistance to EPA's commitment to sunlight ahead of Gina McCarthy, President Obama's pick to be the nation's environment czar. Ben Geman writes at The Hill:
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) are launching online ads in 10 states ahead of McCarthy’s Thursday appearance before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. They’re aimed at Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Alaska’s bipartisan Senate duo.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Interior to invigorate the agencies' cooperation in the delivery of water, maintenance of wastewater infrastructure services and financial assistance to tribal communities.
In 2000 the United States made commitments at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and agreed to support a United Nations Millennium Development Goal to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation around the world. An Infrastructure Task Force (“Task Force”) to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian country was formed in 2003. The federal partners of the Task Force are the US Department of Agriculture (Rural Development - USDA-RD), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Indian Health Service, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the US Department of the Interior (Bureau of Indian Affairs - BIA).--press release, EPA Water.
More EPA news from Geman here and here.

From a press release via Lakota SP Media, April 9, 2013:
A delegation of Lakota elders has travelled to the United Nations in New York City to deliver an official complaint of ongoing genocide against the United States government. The delegation is currently being rebuffed by The Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and high officials within the United Nations. The delegation and a group of supporters are currently waiting at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza directly across from the UN.
"When the UN was created, their mission was to stop the genocide of nations," said a solemn Lakota grandmother, Charmaine Whiteface. "Why won't they help us?" The delegation will be in New York City for the next day and a half, asking the Secretary General's office to officially receive the genocide complaint. "The UN always says that it sanctions people when genocide is committed. So when genocide is committed in America, why can't the UN sanction America for genocide?" said Canupa Gluha Mani, Lakota Warrior Head Member.
Currently only 6000-8000 Lakota language speakers remain as a consequence ofongoing genocidal policies and practices. Experts give the Lakota people 20 to 30 years before they will cease to exist as a distinct and sovereign political, cultural and social nation. Lakota delegation is currently on a twelve plus city tour to raise awareness and build international support to end the genocide of their people.
Media contact: Naomi Archer: 828-230-1404, email: LakotaSolidarity@gmail.com
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