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Tribal Pesticide Program Council

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The TPPC is a tribal technical resource and program and policy dialogue and development group, focused on pesticide issues and concerns. It is composed of authorized representatives from federally recognized tribes and Indian nations and intertribal organizations. Authorization must be in writing by a letter from either the Tribal Chairperson or a letter or resolution from the Tribal Council or similar governing body.

Members | Purposes | History | Decision Process | Meetings | Contacts


At this time there are 42 authorized representatives, including some authorized alternates. Thirty two tribes or Indian nations have authorized representatives. They are:

Aroostook Band of Micmacs Blackfeet Tribe Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe
Colorado River Indian Tribes Colville Confederated Tribes Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
Gila River Indian Community Jicarilla Apache Nation Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Leech Lake Tribe of Minnesota Chippewa
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Navajo Nation Oglala Sioux Tribe
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska Pauma/Yuima Band of Mission Indians Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Quechan Indian Tribe
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska Sherwood Valley Rancheria
Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley Reservation Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Tohono O'Odham Nation White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Yakama Nation

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The two intertribal organizations who have authorized representatives are the California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA) and the Intertribal Council of Arizona (ITCA).

All tribes and Indian nations and intertribal organizations who are interested in pesticide issues and concerns and want to participate in the TPPC are welcome to authorize a representative to the TPPC, by mailing the required authorization to the TPPC Coordinator.

The TPPC is governed by a regionally-based 11 member elected Executive Committee, and an elected Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

All TPPC Council members are responsible for ensuring representation of the tribes and Indian nations within their region at meetings of the TPPC, determining and raising issues of importance to those tribes or nations, and relaying information back to the tribe or Indian nation represented by each Council Member. Each member is encouraged to consult with the tribes or Indian nations in their region and the EPA Regional Office in their Region before each TPPC meeting to identify program needs and issues as well.


  1. Assists tribes and Indian nations in developing their own pesticide programs;
  2. Provides Indian Country-focused pesticide education, training, and research;
  3. Offers a forum for dealing with a broad range of Tribal pesticide-related issues and concerns;
  4. Facilitates communications between the tribes, Indian Nations, tribal and intertribal organizations, tribal communities, and U.S. EPA Headquarters and other federal and state agencies on pesticides and pesticide-related issues;
  5. Seeks to ensure that tribes with less experience in the pesticide management area can have relationship with and learn from those tribes who have more experience, and to develop tribal mentoring or coaching relationships; and
  6. Works in partnership with U.S. EPA to ensure that the federal law governing pesticides, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), is complied with and enforced in Indian Country in a manner that enhances and does not offend tribes' and Indian nations' sovereignty, treaty rights and rights to self-determination;
  7. Helps to ensure that knowledgeable and experienced tribal and Indian nation's representatives are aware of and able to participate where their knowledge and expertise are needed in pesticide-related decision-making, initiatives, committees, and meetings that may impact Indian Country; and
  8. Coordinates and works cooperatively with the Tribal Operations Committee (TOC), Regional Tribal Operating Committees (RTOCs), the National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC), the Intertribal Agricultural Council (IAC), the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and any other tribal or Indian Nation organization or intertribal organization that is or may be involved in pesticide issues and concerns.

The TPPC is fully aware that not all tribes or Indian nations have established pesticide monitoring, enforcement, or regulatory programs and that some may not have all the information necessary to determine if their tribe or Indian nation needs to or wants to develop pesticide programs, or if they do, how to do that. The TPPC will assist any tribe or Indian nation in assessing their need for pesticide programs and/or education. It works to strengthen and protect tribal agriculture where that agriculture is of importance to the tribe or Indian nation's economy. It also recognizes that some tribes, Indian nations, and Indian communities are opposed to pesticide use, and that pesticide use and impacts vary considerably from region to region and tribe to tribe or Indian nation to Indian nation.

The TPPC does not serve as the sole or primary mechanism for communications between the tribes and U.S. EPA on pesticide matters. EPA Regional Offices continue to perform the role of primary Agency contacts with the tribes in their Regions and the maintenance and importance of such direct contact is strongly supported by the TPPC and by U.S. EPA Headquarters.

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U.S. EPA's 1984 Indian Policy (recently reaffirmed commemorating the 20th anniversary) entrusted EPA with the responsibility of supporting the role of Tribal governments in protecting the environment and public health in Indian Country. That policy was first implemented in the pesticide program area. U.S. EPA's very first formal efforts in tribal environmental program development were in the development of tribal pesticide programs. In 1985-86, U.S. EPA authorized the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota to certify applicators of restricted use pesticides. This was the first formal authorization of a tribe to operate a program under a federal environmental statute. Thirty-two tribes are involved in Pesticide Enforcement Cooperative Agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA).

Tribes who had pesticide programs and concerns organized themselves and created the TPPC. A series of meetings took place, beginning in early 1997, involving tribal representatives and various officials of US EPA, with tribal representatives asserting that they needed a mechanism for direct input. Development of an overall policy framework for Tribal pesticide programs was underway, and participation of tribes in the development of that policy framework was needed. Tribes wanted a structure to get their concerns and priorities addressed. It was noted that the states have had such an entity for many years; that group (the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group - usually referred to as SFIREG) was structured to operate through state representatives for each EPA Region, and tribal participation in SFIREG had consistently proved to be scant and unsuitable. Tribes often had very different priorities and concerns, felt that participation in a state-focused group was inappropriate, and wanted an entity of their own. EPA Assistant Administrator Lynn Goldman committed to the establishment of a Tribal Pesticide group in September of 1997, if a survey of tribes indicated that they wanted such a group and could come together to present a plan for the role and structure of the group.

Tribes responded enthusiastically to the idea of forming their own group. A first planning meeting involving tribal representatives took place on January 27-28, 1998, in the Washington, D.C. area. A follow-up telephone conference call, again involving several tribal representatives, was held in January, 1998. Meetings were convened to develop a group in March, April and May of 1998.

On August 20-21, 1998, a meeting was held in Scottsdale, Arizona, to begin writing a plan for the role and structure of the group. There were 32 confirmed tribal representatives at that meeting. The representatives there included 20 tribes with pesticide programs, three tribes developing new programs, several tribes without programs, and two intertribal organizations (California Indian Basketweavers Association and the Intertribal Council of Arizona). The name, "Tribal Pesticide Program Council" was decided at that time. A committee was appointed to plan and draft the proposal for the TPPC and to submit it to U.S. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) through the OPP Tribal Coordinator at that time, Elizabeth Resek. That tribal organizing committee met in the Washington, D.C. area on November 4-5, 1998, and participated in several telephone conference calls thereafter. On November 5, 1998, they contacted Native Ecology Initiative and requested pro bono assistance in preparing and finalizing the documents in support of the formation of the TPPC. That organizing committee later authorized Lillian A. Wilmore, the Executive Director of Native Ecology Initiative (NEI), by a signed fax, to serve as the Coordinator for the TPPC. Native Ecology Initiative received from the organizing committee a thick packet of materials including lists, notes of several planning meetings, a proposed budget, and an outline of the role and structure, which were then studied, discussed with the tribal planning group, compiled into a proposal, including a draft set of Rules and Procedures, and submitted to US EPA on June 2, 1999. NEI agreed to serve the TPPC for a maximum 15% indirect cost, with 85% of all funding received by the TPPC going to directly support the activities of the TPPC, and to provide twice a year detailed financial reporting to the TPPC. The cooperative agreement for the TPPC with U.S. EPA was first funded on September 13, 1999. The original cooperative agreement expired in October of 2004. During the first five years, the TPPC had ten full Council meetings, five in the D.C. area, and five others were held at various locations throughout Indian Country.

In April of 2004, the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs published a request for proposals in the Federal Register [Support the Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC); Notice of Funds Availability; [Federal Register: April 9, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 69), Page 18903-18907] to support the continuation of the TPPC. The cooperative agreement was awarded to NEI in October of 2004 for a 5-year period.

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Decision Process

The TPPC generally works by consensus. It is encouraged that the TPPC engage in consensus building rather than voting, on most issues. It is understood that consensus building cannot take place in the absence of full discussion. If consensus cannot be reached and a decision is necessary, voting of the tribal or Indian nation representative members may occur. A 2/3s majority vote will be required for a resolution to pass. To date, the taking of votes has occurred only a few times with respect to logistical matters, and not on issues of policy or substance.

The TPPC is a technical resource group and not a political body.

No TPPC member is ever asked to vote the position of their tribe. TPPC Council members vote only to provide input and comment as experienced natural resources professionals. The TPPC does not lobby.


The TPPC (full Council) meets twice a year, at approximately six-month intervals, for two days.

The TPPC Executive Committee meets an additional two times a year, at approximately the mid-point between the full Council meetings. The Executive Committee seeks to meet in conjunction with other tribal environmentally-related meetings of importance, such as the National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC) Annual Conference or the National Tribal Conference on Environmental Management (NTCEM) sponsored by OSWER (U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response).

All TPPC meetings are held at a place agreed upon by the Council, taking into consideration the need to keep the costs of travel reasonable, i.e., within the budget allowed. One annual meeting of the TPPC is held in the Washington, D.C. area, to afford the TPPC the greatest access to federal agency participation and expertise. This is particularly important given the cross-media nature of ongoing and developing programs.

The TPPC provides all necessary funding for travel for Council members and Executive Committee Members to TPPC meetings. The primary cost to tribes or Indian nations of participation in the TPPC is the time of their representative in attending meetings or participating in teleconference calls.

The Executive Committee also meets by telephone conference on the third Wednesday of every month.

See the TPPC website’s calendar for upcoming meetings. exit EPA

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There are two key contacts for the TPPC.

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