CROW AGENCY- Tests conducted last week show no E.coli in the Crow tribal water system, and contaminants discovered at the water source last summer were never detected in residents’ drinking water, EPA officials said Wednesday.
The EPA conducted tests at the tribe’s two smaller water system at Pryor and Wyola last week, and the tribe’s largest system at Crow Agency has regularly tested negative for E. coli after treatment, said Richard Mylott, a Denver-based spokesman for the agency’s region 8.
The Crow Agency water system is operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general released a report showing a presence of E. coli above federal limits at the groundwater source from the Little Bighorn River. That water had not yet been treated, Mylott said.
The report also faulted water at the Pryor and Wyola systems for insufficient monitoring of samples at those two systems.
In a statement, tribal officials said they are seeking to build a new system with money from the 2010 Crow Water Settlement.
“The Crow Tribe did not enter into a treaty with the United States to secure contaminated water,” Chairman Leroy Not Afraid said in a Dec. 13 statement. “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.”