Cherokee Nation Environmental Specialist April Hathcoat checks real time air quality data collected from the tribe’s air monitoring stations from her Allen Road office in Tahlequah.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation was among four Oklahoma tribes to receive part of an $847,097 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help monitor air quality on tribal lands.
Cherokee Nation Environmental Programs received $437,785 in funding.
“The Cherokee Nation fills crucial data gaps in Oklahoma, monitoring in areas where the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality does not have monitoring stations or extra resources,” said Ryan Callison, director of environmental programs at the Cherokee Nation. “The Cherokee Nation is very appreciative of this continuing grant by the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6, which supports our air quality monitoring program.”
The Cherokee Nation Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Program began in 1996 with a project grant and has since grown, through a succession of grants, to become one of the largest tribal ambient air quality monitoring programs in the nation.
The Cherokee Nation has six air monitoring stations, including in Tahlequah, Stilwell, Roland, Newkirk and Pryor, and has a mobile monitoring station.
Data from the sites are used by the Department of Environmental Quality and other federal agencies to study air quality trends and alert the public to ozone levels in the area. Data can be found on www.airnow.gov.
The tribe monitors ozone, mercury and ammonia, among other air pollutants.
The Cherokee Nation also acts as the lead technical agent for the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council, an environmental consortium of 42 tribes in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, assisting member tribes in establishing and operating their own ambient air quality monitoring projects.
The Delaware, Choctaw and Quapaw tribes received EPA grant funds as well.
Cherokee Nation environmental program information can be found at http://www.cherokee.org/OurGovernment/Commissions/EnvironmentalProtection.aspx.
Information on the EPA grant is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/gandf/index.htm.
Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896
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