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Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho

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Years of drinking water contamination from potato pesticide will soon be over for residents of a reservation townsite. They voted Aug.1 to end the water and sewer district. As a result, the townsite will no longer draw water from its aquifer, but will connect to the tribal aquifer through its waterlines. "That's the most important thing for us; to have clean water year round and not part of the year," said resident Ron Edmo, who started the petition for the election. Every summer since 1994, a drinking ban has been issued in the district when potato pesticide ethylene dibromide seeped through a filter. The district spent $24,000 each year for a new filter. The chemical has been linked to liver, kidney and nervous system diseases, is a potential carcinogen and was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1984. More than 350 people live in the townsite which began about 100 years ago. The water district was formed in the 1960s. The tribe is nearing the completion of a multimillion dollar improvement to its water system. Next year the district will improve its own waterlines, some of which are more than 30 years old, to meet with the tribal improvements, Edmo said.

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