CROW AGENCY – The report of fecal matter found in Crow Agency’s water system is false. The most recent sampling of E.Coli, has not exceeded the minimum threshold set out by EPA.
This after federal environmental officials said in a Thursday report that the Crow tribe’s largest water system tested positive for fecal matter this spring and that two other systems are out of compliance with federal law.
According to a release from Crow Agency officials, under the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule both Bureau of Indian Affairs and Tribal Water Treatment Plants are required to monitor their source water for E.Coli.
E.Coli is an indication organism for the hardy water Bourne pathogen Cryptosporidium.
That report said, the BIA and the Crow Tribe can provide assurances that routine bacteria samples have come back negative for bacteria and E.Coli.
The Crow Tribe is also working with EPA to identify the source of the problem in order to develop a plan to address the findings. The EPA works with tribal water utilities to monitors tribal water systems to ensure safe drinking water for public use.
The existing public water systems are decades old, dilapidated and expose tribal residents to dangerous amounts of bacteria like E. Coli said the release.
“The Crow Tribe did not enter into a treaty with the United States to secure contaminated water. The Crow Tribe wants what it has always fought for: clean, potable water. The U.S. Government is failing to fulfill its trust responsibility by holding the Crow Water Settlement funds hostage for misspending that occurred years before I took office,” said Chairman Notafraid.
It is the objective of the Crow Administration to address the findings and repay the federal government for questioned costs that could be inconsistent with the Crow Water Rights Settlement Compact with the United States and Montana.
Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News