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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.

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EPA Policy on EJ for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples

Administrator McCarthy Signs Environmental Justice Policy for Working with Tribes and Indigenous Peoples on July 24th reinforcing the agency’s commitment to work with tribes on a government-to-government basis when issues of environmental justice arise.

All tribal and indigenous communities deserve environmental and public health protection. Through this policy, we are reinforcing our commitment to tribal communities, especially in addressing issues of Environmental Justice, said Administrator McCarthy.

Building on EPA’s Plan EJ 2014, the policy integrates 17 environmental justice and civil rights principles. The plan also identifies existing informational and resource tools to support EPA in addressing environmental justice concerns raised by Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples throughout the United States.

This policy was developed through tribal government consultations, meetings with state and tribal organizations and three public comment periods engaging indigenous communities and other stakeholders.

EPA Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples (PDF) (11 pp, 818 K,  About PDF)

EPA’s Plan EJ 2014 (PDF) (189 pp, 2.32 MB,  About PDF)

Celebrating 30 Years of EPA's Indian Policy

2014 marks 30 years of EPA's 1984 Indian Policy. EPA was the first to formally adopt such a Policy, articulating the importance of our tribal programs and our unique government-to-government relationship with tribes.

This past January, Administrator Gina McCarthy reaffirmed the 1984 Indian Policy and acknowledged that EPA's "work in Indian Country is crosscutting and affects all aspects of the EPA's day to day functions."

To recognize this milestone and how it remains a top Agency priority, EPA is commemorating the work of our tribal programs through video, social media, and special events. Check back for more detailed information.

To read Administrator McCarthy's Reaffirmation of the 1984 Indian Policy, please visit: Reaffirmation of the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency's Indian Policy (10 pp, 201K,  About PDF)

Gina McCarthy reaffirmed the 1984 Indian PolicyGina McCarthy reaffirmed the 1984 Indian Policy

White House Tribal Nations Conference Report Released

On March 6, the final summaries of the November 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference discussions were released by the White House. Jodi Gillette, Senior Advisor for Native American Affairs, wrote about both the summaries and final report on the White House Blog. While Departments and Agencies have already been working on follow up items and actions from the November meeting, these notes and reports are meant to be used as an official point of reference for future White House Tribal meetings.

"The Synopsis reflects the wide-array of issues and comments raised by tribal leaders during the break-out sessions; including economic and energy development, education, public safety, health care, and land and natural resources. The Tribal Nations Conference Progress Report provides a comprehensive overview of federal agencies' progress in 2013 toward making improvements in Indian Country."

To read the full White House blog post, visit: Continuing the Progress with Tribal Communities Exit Disclaimer

Administrator McCarthy Visits Indian Country

Administrator McCarthy traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota

In late February, Administrator McCarthy traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota that included a visit to United Tribes Technical College in Bismark, a meeting with Tribal Chairman Archambault and the Tribal Council, a tour of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and tribal environmental program, and a meeting with North Dakota Governor Dalrymple. On Friday, the Administrator was joined by Senator Heidi Heitkamp in a meeting with North Dakota Tribal Chairs.

This is the Administrator's second visit to Indian Country in her first year. Last August, she traveled to Alaska to highlight the President's commitment to addressing climate change and its impact on the state. Administrator McCarthy visited the Portage Glacier near Anchorage to survey the effects of climate change, visited the Bristol Bay watershed where she met with tribes, industry representatives, fishermen, and other stakeholders, and visited Fairbanks to discuss ongoing air quality issues facing the community.

For more information about Administrator McCarthy and her commitment to tribes, please visit: Administrator Gina McCarthy

EPA Tribal Consultation Opportunities

On August 6, 2013, 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.

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 New Guidance on the Award and Management of General Assistance Agreements for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia

In May 2013, 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 affected 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 hosted webinars with participation and input from tribes and EPA Program and Regional offices. The slides are availabe below.

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.

Standard link to the American Indian Environmental Office Tribal Portal

If you would like to link to the tribal portal from your own page, please copy and paste this code into your HTML page:

<div style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; width: 120px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.epa.gov/indian"><img src="http://www.epa.gov/indian/images/turtlelink.jpg" alt="Link to AIEO Tribal Portal ">AIEO Tribal Portal</a> </div>

Which will look like this:

Link to American Indian Environmental Office Tribal Portal
AIEO Tribal Portal

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