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American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO)

Mission

AIEO leads EPA’s efforts to protect human health and the environment in Indian country by supporting implementation of federal environmental law consistent with the federal trust responsibility and the government-to-government relationship, as found in the EPA Policy for the Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian Reservations (1984).


AIEO Priorities

Reinvigorate Tribal Partnerships

  • Strengthen Government-to-Government Relationship by reaffirming and implementing EPA’s 1984 Indian Policy
  • Advance robust EPA Tribal Consultation under President Biden’s 2021 Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relation Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships and Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (2000)
  • Strengthen EPA-Tribal engagement beyond the tribal consultation process by regularly convening EPA’s National Tribal Operations Committee (NTOC) and ensuring active interaction amongst all EPA tribal partnership groups

Strengthen Implementation of EPA’s Tribal Program

  • Provide equitable environmental protection in Indian country as compared to states through EPA Direct Implementation
  • Improve process for approving tribal assumption of certain regulatory and non-regulatory program authorities in Indian country
  • Enhance administration of the Indian General Assistance Program (GAP) and other EPA tribal grant programs

Provide Leadership Across Federal Family

  • Promote EPA policies while taking an active role on the White House Council on Native American Affairs
  • Resume the work of the Interagency Working Group on Treaty Rights

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Who We Are

  • The American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) leads the U.S. EPA's efforts to protect human health and the environment of federally recognized Indian tribes, with a special emphasis on helping tribes administer their own environmental programs.
  • AIEO is the national program manager for the EPA’s Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, or GAP – the largest of EPA’s tribal grant programs.
  • AIEO coordinates the National Tribal Operations Committee (NTOC) and the National Tribal Caucus (NTC) to improve communication and build stronger partnerships with tribes.
  • AIEO is located within EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA).

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What We Do

  • We support the implementation of federal environmental laws consistent with the federal trust responsibility, the government-to-government relationship, and the EPA Policy for the Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian Reservations - often referred to as the EPA 1984 Indian Policy. The EPA 1984 Indian Policy is our bedrock. It sets the framework for EPA’s relationship with federally recognized tribes.
  • AIEO actively supports three main pillars of EPA progress towards improving the environment and human health in Indian country:
    • EPA direct implementation of environmental programs in Indian country,
    • Financial and technical assistance for tribal capacity building to allow tribes to receive EPA federal program delegations, approvals, or authorizations to replace EPA direct implementation with tribal implementation, and
    • Consultation in a timely and meaningful manner in accordance with the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes.
  • AIEO works closely with EPA headquarters and regional offices, other federal agencies, tribal governments, EPA tribal partnership groups, state governments, and others to accomplish its mission.

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AIEO Partnerships - Infographic

Infographic of EPA's AIEO relationship with internal and external partnersInfographic of EPA's AIEO relationship with Internal and External Partners.

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