EPA Finds Arsenic In Drinking Water On Coachella Valley Indian Reservation

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Federal regulators have ordered a public water system on an American Indian reservation in the Coachella Valley after high levels of arsenic were found in the drinking water, officials said Tuesday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week ordered D&D Mobile Home Park, located on the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Reservation south of Indio, to address violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to the EPA.

The order requires D&D, which is privately owned and operated, to comply with the arsenic drinking water standard and conduct more consistent arsenic monitoring of the drinking water provided to its 300 mobile park residents.

Officials said sampling data showed arsenic at concentrations as high as .059 milligrams per liter — almost six times the EPA’s maximum contamination levels for arsenic — as well as the presence of coliform bacteria.

The order requires D&D to submit a written plan within 90 days for EPA review outlining the mobile park’s strategy to bring the water system into compliance with federal standards by the end of 2014. Quarterly arsenic water sampling will also required.

D&D could face penalties of up to $37,500 per day based on federal statutory law if it fails to comply with the terms of the order, officials said.

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