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Tribal Air Quality Programs. Joy Wiecks Fond du Lac Air Quality Technician EPA’s “Working Effectively with Tribal Governments” training June 19, 2014. Location, Fond du Lac Reservation. Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

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tribal air quality programs

Tribal Air Quality Programs

Joy Wiecks

Fond du Lac Air Quality Technician

EPA’s “Working Effectively with Tribal Governments” training

June 19, 2014

fond du lac band of lake superior chippewa
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Roughly 4,400 Band members, with 1,500 living on the Reservation

Reservation is 100,000 contiguous acres - heavily wooded, with many wetlands. Has 108 water bodies, including 843 acres of wild rice waters

5-member Tribal Council elected to staggered four-year terms

Band has two casinos, a hotel complex with a golf course, various enterprises

fdl continued
FdL (Continued)

Resource Mgmt Division: Forestry, Wildlife, Natural Resources, Environmental

Ceded Territories covers another 8 million acres

Local industry includes: taconite (iron ore) mines; pulp and paper facilities; shipping and rail; natural gas and oil pipelines; EGU’s; refinery; traffic from major highway; unpaved roads

what tribes do under aq programs
What Tribes Do Under AQ Programs

Complete emission inventories

Monitor ambient air

Review and comment on local permits and Environmental Impact Statements

Review proposed regulatory actions

Perform educational outreach

Serve on committees and workgroups

continued tribal aq programs
Continued, Tribal AQ Programs

Perform on-Reservation special studies

Expand authorities on-Reservation (permitting, TIPs, etc)

Designate attainment/non-attainment on Reservations

Do on-Reservation Indoor Air Quality work

Work on climate change adaptation plans

why do tribes pursue environmental quality
Why Do Tribes Pursue Environmental Quality?

Protect on- and off-Reservation resources for cultural, religious, and substance purposes

To build Self-determination

Expand authorities and build capacity

To supplement tribal economic development plans

fdl aq program
FdL AQ Program

We have two staff members, sharing 1.8 FTE

Have completed an emission inventory

Monitoring Program: currently monitor mercury deposition and ozone. In the past, PM2.5, NADP, NOx, dioxin

Doing a short-term monitoring study on emissions from bus idling

Active in: permit review, EIS review, regulatory review, regional haze, greenhouse gas mitigation, mercury issues

Work on state, local, regional, national workgroups

Have experience in indoor air quality (lead, radon, mold, secondhand smoke, asthma triggers)

tribal air programs today
Tribal Air Programs Today

There are 117 tribal air programs receiving support from EPA

There are 78 tribes performing monitoring with 52 of them reporting to AQS

Twenty-two tribes are performing toxics programs in their communities

Fifty-seven tribes have completed Reservation emission inventories, with 13 more underway

Thirty-two TAS’s and 2 Tribal TIP’s have been approved

Tribes have visible involvement in some RPO’s and on the CAAAC

National Tribal Air Association

challenges facing tribal air programs
Challenges Facing Tribal Air Programs

Stagnant funding or loss of “project” funding

Some tribes have jurisdictional and/or political issues with surrounding states

In rural areas it can be hard to attract/keep technically trained staff

Small staff trying to do everything

Training is available, but limited

communicating with tribal air staff
Communicating with Tribal Air Staff

We like to cast a broad net

Sometimes we don’t know what we want to be notified about til we hear about it

Technically, important communication should go the Tribal Chair, but…

Please carbon copy environmental staff

Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals/National Tribal Air Assoc. are great contacts

OAQPS/Regions/Tribal Contacts also very good at this


For many tribes, air staff qualified to do “information” calls, not “consultation”

Often we are more concerned with effects on the environment than economics or mandates

But economics are a concern, too

We would rather be informed about too many items than too few

for more information
For More Information




Consult early and often

Be respectful

Understand our resource limitations

Remember unique legal status

Remember what we want to protect