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EPA Annual Report Highlights Trends in Region 9 - Including California

EPA reports trends in environmental progress for western region including California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Native tribes, and several Pacific Islands.

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EPA Highlights Environmental Issues; Some in Unlikely Places

U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region 2008 Environmental Progress Report takes an in-depth look at many of the important environmental issues facing Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, 146 tribes, and several Pacific Islands.

Cutting tons of pollution from power plants, turning food waste into energy, preserving threatened waterways, and reducing exposure to toxics in beauty salons -- just a few of the issues highlighted in the newly released 2008 environmental progress report.

“While many of the environmental issues before us will take years to resolve, we have made remarkable improvements,” said Wayne Nastri, Administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “This real progress is the result of innovative approaches and relentless efforts by dedicated professionals and concerned citizens.”

The 2008 progress report covers a wide range of established challenges and emerging issues, including:

  • Wastewater treatment at the U.S.- Mexico border
  • Protecting children from pesticides and toxics in the home
  • Environmental justice in low-income and minority communities
  • Contaminated land in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands
  • Developing cleaner, hybrid-power delivery trucks and buses
  • Spurring the growing green building movement
  • Reducing energy impacts and addressing climate change

The report also provides an inside look at the people who make up the EPA Agency, and their commitment to improving environmental conditions throughout the region.

Dedicated professionals, father and son team Harry Allen III and Harry Allen IV, who have been collaborating on bioremediation -- the science of helping bacteria flourish, to break down toxic contaminants in the environment. Dad provides the recipe, and son mixes it up and applies it to site cleanups. They’re both EPA emergency responders. Harry Allen III, who works in EPA’s Environmental Response Team office in New Jersey, worked on the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil disaster in Alaska in 1989. Harry IV has been working in the Pacific Southwest Region since 2002.

Over the past few years, the father-and-son team has been collaborating on bioremediation techniques that work well on cleaning up soil contamination from hydrocarbon-based pesticides like toxaphene, which was used extensively to kill fleas on sheep on the Navajo Nation decades ago, leaving the soil contaminated.

Today, Harry Allen IV is working with EPA colleague Andy Bain and some of the same Navajo Nation EPA staff on removing radioactive waste rock from abandoned uranium mines that has been dumped around homes on Navajo land. Elsewhere, Harry has been using compost from biosolids (sewage sludge) to stabilize heavy metals in mine waste.

Many of the critical issues highlighted in this year’s progress report are current and dynamically changing. In many cases, there is still much to be done – and lots of new stories to be told.

If you are a member of the public interested in learning more about any of these environmental issues – or obtaining printed copies of the report – please visit the EPA web site at or contact us at (866) EPA-WEST (372-9378).

Information in the report covers efforts by federal, state, local and tribal partners to clean our air, water and land, and to restore wetlands, respond to emergencies, and promote sustainable agriculture.

The report is available online at:

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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