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Environmental Protection Agency grants $75,000 to Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

Environmental Protection Agency grants $75,000 to Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

PEQUAMING MI (WLUC) – Pollution and contamination are two terms that are very important to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Communitys Natural Resources Department.

Evelyn Ravindran (NRD Director) said that these effects are not always obvious. They could be invisible, or they might not be obvious.

Now, the department has begun a health-risk assessment…with some financial help. The Environmental Protection Agency granted a $75,000 grant this week to support the department’s research into environmental contaminants in the air, water, and soil. Chemicals from plants and stamp sands are examples of contaminants.

They are affecting fish breeding grounds and the whitefish that we value, stated Jane Kahkonen who is the department’s Air Quality Specialist. Other respiratory diseases can cause heart problems and diabetes.

Kahkonen explains that tribal sovereignty and sustainability are two of the main reasons this toxic risk assessment investment is so important for the tribal community.

Kahkonen stated that we want to be there for the next seven generations. We want to keep things the same as they are now and in the future.

The community will be educated about high exposure levels as part of the project’s goals. This is due to the tribe’s dependence on fish, game, or plant life.

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Ravindran stated that rural communities are most affected. Particularly in this area, where fishing is a major concern for all the community.

The department is aiming to get the final contracts completed by the end next month.

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