(Stroud, Oklahoma)- The Sac and Fox Nation Business Committee hosted representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a meeting and press conference at the Sac and Fox Nation on October 10th. EPA Deputy Regional Administrator David Gray unveiled the agency’s plan to reduce lead exposure in drinking water for children and at-risk communities at the press conference.
Deputy Regional Administrator Gray’s visit highlighted the Nation’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its drinking water. In 2018, the Nation was invited to participate as a pilot tribe in a voluntary drinking water testing program at tribal schools and child care facilities. The program is “3 Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities.” 3Ts stand for training, testing, and taking action.
The Nation assisted the EPA with developing best practices and sampling plans for the Sac and Fox Nation Juvenile Detention Center and the Central Tribes of the Shawnee Area (CTSA) Child Care Facility. Due to its work in the 3Ts Program, the Sac and Fox Nation Office of Environmental Services received the EPA Environmental Excellence Award in 2019. Sac and Fox Nation employees from the Office of Environmental Services, Juvenile Detention Center, and CTSA collaborated on the project.
“It was an honor to host EPA Deputy Administrator David Gray and his team at our Capitol Complex. During our press conference the Sac and Fox Nation was again highlighted for going above and beyond expectations. Protecting our people is our greatest priority and it was again affirmed,” stated Principal Chief Justin F. Wood.
October is Children’s Health Month. EPA is highlighting many programs and recourses that state and local partners can use to protect children.
The Sac and Fox Nation is a federally recognized tribal nation of over 4,000 enrolled members. The Nation is led by the Business Committee, comprised of five elected officials: Principal Chief Justin F. Wood, Second Chief Don Abney, Secretary Jacklyn King, Treasurer Jared King, and Committee Member Robert Williamson. The Nation’s jurisdiction lies in portions of Payne, Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties, with the capitol complex located outside of Stroud.