American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO)
AIEO leads EPA's efforts to protect human health and the environment of federally recognized tribes by supporting implementation of federal environmental laws consistent with the federal trust responsibility, the government-to-government relationship, and EPA's 1984 Indian Policy.
- Conferences/Forums/ Seminars
- Public Meetings/ Public Hearings/ Requests for Comments
- RTOC Meetings
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EPA Releases New Guidance on the Award and Management of General Assistance Agreements for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia
On May 15, the Agency released a new GAP Guidance document. The guidance incorporates input from the consultation and coordination process ending February 22, 2013. This new Guidance establishes an overall framework for tribes and EPA to follow in building tribal environmental protection program capacities with GAP resources and supersedes previous Agency GAP guidance. The new GAP Guidance will affect grant work plans negotiated in the Fiscal Year 2014 funding cycle for activities in Fiscal Year 2015 and beyond.
To help facilitate the implementation of the new guidance, EPA is developing a suite of training courses with participation and input from tribes.
Tribal Leaders and Tribal Environmental Directors Informational Webinars
Check back soon for updates on how to participate.
- June 6, 2013 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
- June 7, 2013 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
EPA Tribal ecoAmbasadors Program
In support of President Obama's Executive Order 13592 -- Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities, last year Former Administrator Jackson launched the Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program to support the development of locally-relevant environmental solutions and the expanded research capacity of our Tribal Colleges and Universities. Now EPA is excited to announce our second class of Tribal ecoAmbassadors!
- Jane Latane and David Stone, Tohono O'odham Community College
Phase II: Expanding Research and Development of a Carbon-Negative Building Material
- Zara Berg and Renee Dufault, Fort Peck Community College
Phase II: Determining Nutrition's Role in the Bioaccumulation of Environmental Mercury
- Marco Hatch, Northwest Indian College
Testing Marine biotoxins in shellfish to reduce illness and improve economic opportunity
- Margaret Mayer, Diné College
Developing a transferable course on the collection and use of climate change data
These selected professors from four different Tribal Colleges and Universities are committed to working with students, tribal governments and EPA scientists to solve environmental and public health issues ranging from decreasing fish biotoxins using traditional methods, to creating a local business using recycled, carbon-negative building materials. At the culmination of the year, each Tribal ecoAmbassador will be expected to present their research and findings to the Agency next summer.
Returning Tribal ecoAmbassador David Stone has written a very moving personal account of his experience working with the Tohono O'odham Community for our EPA Greenversations blog - I encourage you to check it out at blog.epa.gov/blog/2012/11/recycling-as-ritual-part-i/.
Below is also a link to a report outlining all of the great work that was accomplished this past year by our first class of Tribal ecoAmbassadors. This cohort of eight professors worked with over sixty students, many of whom have presented project results to their Tribal communities and Tribal Leaders, and developed new online courses for use by Tribal Colleges and Universities. And their great work didn't go unnoticed! Our Tribal ecoAmbassadors' efforts led to increased support and involvement from across the EPA and the Federal Government, and has helped to initiate several new partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and various scientific journals and research institutes that will support expanded resources for involved Tribal Colleges and Universities and environmental protection capacity in tribal communities.
EPA and Corporation for National Community Service Encourage Tribes to Apply for New Grant Opportunity
EPA and AmeriCorps Leverage Grant Resources to Support Indian Tribes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Corporation for National and Community Service announced that Indian General Assistance Program (GAP) grants may be used as match funding for tribally-sponsored AmeriCorps programs.
More than $3 million worth of AmeriCorps funding is dedicated to support tribal communities every year, but often, tribal governments face financial challenges that prevent them from providing the required matched funding. AmeriCorps members help address key challenges facing Native American communities, including education, disaster response and environmental preservation. EPA manages GAP to assist eligible tribal governments in building environmental programs needed to regulate and manage their environments. The combination of AmeriCorps grants and EPA program funding such as GAP enable tribal governments to bring in energetic, committed people to help build an environmental program.
AmeriCorps planning grants provide up to $75,000 for a one-year period to provide support to an Indian Tribe for the development of an AmeriCorps program that will engage AmeriCorps members in order to address pressing community problems. Planning grant recipients are expected to be better prepared to compete for an AmeriCorps program grant in the following grant cycle. Planning grants may not be used to support AmeriCorps members.
Applications are due May 30, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of July, 2013.
- More information on how to apply for the Americorps planning grant
- More information on EPA's tribal program
- More information on AmeriCorps
- Information on all Current AmeriCorps funding opportunities
Multiple Federal Partners Addressing the Long Standing Disparity of Safe Water & Sanitation Services for Tribes
Multiple Federal Partners Addressing the Long Standing Disparity of Safe Water & Sanitation Services for Tribes
The lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian Country continues to threaten the public health of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Approximately 12% of AI/AN homes do not have safe water and/or basic sanitation facilities. This is high compared with the 0.6% of non-native homes in the United States that lack such infrastructure. A multi-agency Infrastructure Task Force has been formed to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian country. Partners include US Department of Agriculture - Rural Development, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Indian Health Service, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Task Force accomplishments, current activities, and proposed strategies to address access to water and sanitation services on AI/AN lands are available at: http://www.epa.gov/tp/trprograms/infra-water.htm
EPA Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy
EPA Submits Tribal Consultation Progress Report to OMB
On August 6, 2012, EPA's Designated Consultation Official Michelle DePass, Assistant Administrator for the Office of International & Tribal Affairs, transmitted EPA's annual progress report per President Obama's November 5, 2009 memorandum on tribal consultation to the Office of Management and Budget. The report describes EPA's progress under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.
- EPA 2012 Tribal Consultation Progress Report (PDF) (3 pp, 617K, About PDF)
EPA Final Policy for Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes
On May 4th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final policy on consultation and coordination with Indian tribes. EPA is among the first of the federal agencies to finalize its consultation policy in response to President Obama's first tribal leaders summit in November 2009, and the issuance of executive order 13175 to establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications.
- Letter to Tribal Leaders (PDF) (1 pg, 462K, About PDF) - a letter from Michelle DePass, Assistant Administrator, AIEO
- EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes (PDF) (10 pp, 213K, About PDF)
- 5/4/11 - EPA Releases Final Policy for Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes
The Tribal Consultation Opportunities Tracking System (TCOTS) publicizes upcoming and current EPA consultation opportunities for tribal governments. TCOTS allows users to view and sort information, and to submit comments on a tribal consultation. TCOTS is a key feature of EPA's new Consultation and Coordination Policy with Indian Tribes (PDF) (10 pp, 213K, About PDF) that was released by Former Administrator Jackson on May 4, 2011. The goal of TCOTS is to provide early notification and transparency on EPA consultations with tribal governments.
EPA Releases National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change
Office of Water is announcing the release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2012 National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change. The document describes how EPA’s water-related programs plan to address the impacts of climate change. It describes our long-term visions, goals and strategic actions for the management of sustainable water resources for future generations in five key areas: infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal and ocean waters, water quality, and working with Tribes. It also includes EPA's goals and strategic actions in 10 geographic climate regions.
The 2012 Strategy includes a chapter dedicated to "Working with Tribes," and emphasizes working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders, developing information and tools, incorporating adaptation into core programs, and managing risks of impacts including from extreme weather events. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders to build our nation's resilience to the impacts of climate change.
To read the Strategy and learn more about the impacts of climate change on water resources, please visit http://www.epa.gov/water/climatechange.
National Tribal Water Council Seeks Nominations
The National Tribal Water Council (NTWC) is a technical/scientific body of Tribal water professionals. The NTWC provides input to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water, and advocates for and assists Tribes by providing information regarding water quality issues. The NTWC is not a policy-making body, and its input is not a substitute for government-to-government consultation.
The NTWC is currently seeking nominations to fill Council Member vacancies for one Alaska Representative, one Navajo Nation Representative, and two At-Large Representatives. Each position is for a term of 4 years. The NTWC is supported by the Office of Water, U.S. EPA, United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET), and the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC).