Under EPA policy, the Agency works with federally recognized tribes on a government-to-government basis to protect the land, air, and water in Indian country and Alaska Native villages and to support tribal assumption of program authority. Facilities located in Indian country that meet TRI reporting requirements must indicate the appropriate three-digit Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) tribal code on annual TRI reporting forms. These codes tell the EPA on which tribal land the facility is located.
In 2020, there were 42 facilities located in the Indian country of 19 different federally recognized tribes that reported to TRI. These facilities collectively managed over 16 million pounds of production-related waste, 5.3 million pounds of which was disposed of or otherwise released. Of these releases, 89% were released on site; 87% of these on-site releases were disposal to land from electric utilities and metal mining facilities. These facilities primarily disposed of metal compounds such as lead, barium, and copper compounds. Lead and copper are often present in the mineral ore disposed of by metal mines, and barium is present in coal and oil combusted at electric utilities.
Many more facilities are located on or within a 10 mile radius of Indian country. 1,934 such facilities reported to TRI in 2020, representing 241 different federally recognized tribes. These facilities collectively managed over 980 million pounds of production-related waste, 180 million pounds of which were disposed of or otherwise released. Of the releases reported, 83% were released on site; 69% of these on-site releases were from chemical manufacturing, metal mining, and primary metals manufacturing facilities.
The table below provides more details about various types of releases and other waste management reported by facilities on federally recognized tribal lands.
Quick Facts for 2020: Facilities on Tribal Lands
|Measure||Facilities on Tribal Land||Facilities on or within 10 miles of tribal land|
|Number of Facilities that Reported to TRI||42||1,934|
|Number of Tribes with TRI Facilities on Their Lands||19||241|
|Production-Related Waste Managed||16.04 million lb||987 million lb|
|Recycling||2.85 million lb||301 million lb|
|Energy Recovery||2.54 million lb||109 million lb|
|Treatment||5.34 million lb||397 million lb|
|Disposal or Other Releases||5.32 million lb||180 million lb|
|Total Disposal or Other Releases||5.34 million lb||181 million lb|
|On-site||4.75 million lb||150 million lb|
|Air||0.51 million lb||56.3 million lb|
|Water||1,600 lb||13.8 million lb|
|Land||4.24 million lb||79.4 million lb|
|Off-site||0.59 million lb||31.4 million lb|
In this table, the values for “Disposal or Other Releases” in the production-related waste managed section is lower than the value for “Total Disposal or Other Releases.” This is primarily because some facilities reported managing non-production-related waste. Non-production-related waste is not included in production-related waste values but is included in the Total Disposal or Other Releases.
The "Tribal Lands" search in TRI Toxics Tracker makes it easy to explore information about releases of TRI chemicals from facilities on or near tribal lands. An example of the type of TRI information in TRI Toxics Tracker is shown in the interactive chart below. Use the buttons in the top row to filter the data by industry sector, chemical, and/or tribe.
The interactive table below lists the federally recognized tribes that had at least one TRI-reporting facility on their lands, along with the total releases reported by facilities and the number of facilities. Click on a column header to change how the table is sorted.
Total Disposal or Other Releases on Tribal Lands by Tribe, 2020
Additional resources for tribes are available on the TRI for Tribal Communities webpage, including more detailed analyses of TRI data, links to other online tools, and contact information for EPA’s Tribal Program Managers.
This page was published in March 2022 and uses the 2020 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2021.