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Steering committee to study Hoback drinking water

A new steering committee has begun looking at ways to address drinking water safety issues in the Hoback Junction area.

Teton Conservation District Water Resources Specialist Carlin Girard said drinking water sources north of the Snake and Hoback River confluence have exceeded nitrate concentrations deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency. He added, the situation requires immediate attention.

On Tuesday, Teton County and the Conservation District established a partnership to address those drinking water quality issues. A steering committee is seeking community participation in a survey that will be mailed to residents in Hoback Junction, Hog Island and Camp Creek this week. The committee hopes to have that survey returned by September 10.

The committee is comprised of Teton County Engineering and Health Departments, the Teton Conservation District, and facilitator Max Ludington from Legacy-Works Group.

The group is in the early stages of building the Hoback Junction Drinking Water Stakeholder Group. It will look for ways to protect human health by developing recommendations to address drinking water safety issues, as well as water wastewater planning and management.

One of the highest priorities will be helping residents whose water sources have already exceeded safe nitrate levels.

The steering committee wants about 10 volunteers to serve as stakeholders in a 12-month process looking at a wide range of perspectives. The stakeholder group will meet at least four times over the course of the year and provide recommendations and proposed actions to the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and Teton Conservation District Board of Supervisors.

You can find the survey here or at the Health Department office at 460 E. Pearl Ave. in Jackson.

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