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Groundwater contamination meeting set for June 29

ZILLAH - Next Tuesday, June 29, the United States Environmental Protection Agency will present an update on its work to address nitrate contaminated groundwater in the Yakima Valley.

The EPA has partnered on the project with the Yakama Indian Nation, the Washington State departments of agriculture, ecology and health, and with Yakima County.

Two sessions with identical agendas will be held next Tuesday, the first from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and the second from 7 to 9 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the Zillah Civic Center and both are open to the public.

The two meetings will be facilitated by the EPA's Dan Phalen and the Yakima-Kittitas Dispute Resolution Center's Matt Fairbank.

Spanish translation services will be available to those who don't speak English.

Specific topics to be addressed next Tuesday will include the major findings of the situation assessment, the status of sampling analysis and the progress that is being made toward a comprehensive solution to the problem.

Over the course of the past year local, state and federal agencies have worked together to identify ways to address nitrate contaminated groundwater in the Lower Yakima Valley. Nitrates can leach through the soil and into aquifers from agricultural sources, such as fertilizers and manure, and from poorly maintained septic systems. In some cases nitrates have been known to contaminate drinking water supplies.

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