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Working Effectively with Tribal Governments

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  1. American Indian Environmental Office Working Effectively with Tribal Governments AIEO Presentation, RTP June 2014 Andy Byrne Byrne.Andrew@epa.gov (202)564-3836

  2. Topics to be Covered General objective: describe EPA’s tribal program and how tribal issues impact the Agency’s daily work Overview: 1. Origins of EPA’s tribal program 2. American Indian Environmental Office 3. Additional hot topics a) Consultation b) Direct Implementation 4. Questions?

  3. Origins of EPA’s Tribal Program – Brief History Lesson • Removal: 1830 – 1870 • Forced removal of American Indians from their lands • Assimilation and Allotment: 1871 – 1928 • Attempts to break up tribes by breaking up ownership of the land • Reorganization: 1928 – 1942 • Recognition of failure of previous policies, attempt to reorganize tribes in a manner prescribed by the United States • Termination: 1943 – 1968 • Renewed belief that it was tribal existence that kept Indians from integrating into mainstream society, termination of tribes as recognized entities • Self-Determination: 1968 – present • President Nixon reaffirmed the trust responsibility of the federal government to the tribes, and called on Congress to legislate to enable an increase in tribal autonomy

  4. Origins of EPA’s Tribal Program The EPA Indian program involves significant activities designed to ensure protection of human health and the tribal environment, in a manner consistent with EPA’s trust responsibility to federally recognized tribes, the government-to-government relationship, and the conservation of cultural uses of natural resources. • Significant milestones: 1984: EPA Indian Policy 1992: Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act (GAP) 1994: Browner Action Memorandum (creation of AIEO) 1994: Clinton Presidential Memorandum 2000: Executive Order 13175 2011: Consultation Policy

  5. 1984 EPA Indian Policy The 1984 Indian Policy provides guidance to EPA staff and managers in dealing with tribal governments and in responding to the problems of environmental management on Indian reservations in order to protect tribal health and the environment. There are nine principles in the Policy, a select few are highlighted here: • #2: The Agency will recognize tribal governments as the primary parties for setting standards, making environmental policy decisions and managing programs for reservations, consistent with Agency standards and regulations. • Jurisdiction • #3: The Agency will take affirmative steps to encourage and help tribes assume regulatory and program management responsibilities for reservation lands. • Until Tribal Governments are willing and able to assume full responsibility for delegable programs, the Agency will retain responsibility for managing programs for reservations • Direct Implementation • #5: The Agency, in keeping with the federal trust responsibility, will ensure that tribal concerns and interests are considered whenever EPA’s actions and/or decisions may affect reservation environments. • Consultation

  6. 1994 Browner Memorandum A memorandum to establish actions the Agency will take to further the National Tribal Program: • Establish Tribal-EPA Environmental Agreements (TEAs); • Implement management and compliance activities; • Provide training to EPA management and staff on how to work effectively with tribal governments; • Enhance communications with tribes; • Use available discretion to consolidate issuance and administrative requirements of grants; and • Invest resources into tribal operations.

  7. 1994 Clinton Presidential Memorandum Recognizes the government-to-government relationship between federal and tribal governments Calls for consultation with federally recognized tribal governments prior to actions that affect tribes

  8. Modern Day Statistics There are 566 federally recognized tribes spread throughout the United States. Over 200 of these federally recognized tribes are located in Alaska and are often referred to as Alaska Native Villages According to the 2010 Census, 5.2 million people self-identified as Native American, either alone or in combination with one or more other races.

  9. Indian Country on the Map Some facts to consider: • Indian country makes up nearly 4% of the United States land base • Reservation sizes vary from 16 million acres (roughly the size of West Virginia) to under 10 acres Nine of EPA’s regions include federally recognized tribal governments: Region 1 – 10 tribes Region 6 – 66 tribes Region 2 – 8 tribes Region 7 – 9 tribes Region 3 – 0 tribes** Region 8 – 27 tribes Region 4 – 6 tribes Region 9 – 145 tribes Region 5 – 35 tribes Region 10 – 271 tribes

  10. Tribes Within EPA Regions

  11. American Indian Environmental Office The American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) leads EPA's efforts to protect human health and the environment of federally recognized Indian tribes by supporting the implementation of federal environmental laws consistent with the federal trust responsibility, the government-to-government relationship, and EPA's Indian Policy. In addition to the front office, AIEO is broken down generally into three distinct sub-offices: • Law & Policy team • Grants & Technical Assistance team • Outreach & Partnerships team

  12. AIEO – Law & Policy Team The Law & Policy team works to ensure that the Agency is achieving the goals and objectives of the 1984 Indian Policy. This includes: General: • Work with EPA programs to provide guidance on the application of EPA’s Indian policies in the context of ensuring environmental protection in Indian country; • Work with EPA programs to ensure compliance with laws, policies and regulations that affect federally recognized tribes in Indian country. • Support EPA programs to ensure appropriate consultation with tribal governments regarding actions that may affect land, air, and water in Indian country. Specific: • Direct Implementation • EPA-Tribal Environmental Plans (ETEPs) • Treatment in a Similar Manner as a State (TAS) • Consultation • Strategic Plan/Cross-Cutting Agency work • Coordination with the Tribal Program Managers (TPMs) • Interagency Effort to Address Solid Waste Issues in Indian Country • Correspondence with leaders on specifics issues that may affect a particular tribe (see next slide)

  13. AIEO Law & Policy Team – Example Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians – NAAQS Attainment in Southern California: • In May 2012, EPA approved Pechanga’s request to establish a non-attainment area for ozone NAAQS coinciding with Pechanga tribal lands • Previously, Pechanga’s reservation lands were included in the Los-Angeles South Coast Air Basin nonattainment area • Pechanga subsequently acquired nearby lands that were in San Diego county, outside the Los Angeles South Coast Air Basin nonattainment area • AIEO worked with OAQPS, OAR, and R9 to address the tribe’s concern

  14. AIEO – Grants & Technical Assistance Team Providing tribes with the tools and technical guidance needed to implement their own environmental programs The Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) Act of 1992 allows EPA to provide grants to tribal governments to build capacity to administer environmental regulatory programs that may be delegated by the EPA on Indian lands. • The May 2013 GAP Guidance further defines the manner in which EPA will work with tribes under GAP to strengthen tribal environmental capacity • GAP is the largest single source of funding for tribes by EPA • GAP provides technical assistance to tribal governments in the development of multimedia environmental programs

  15. GAP Funding

  16. AIEO – Outreach & Partnerships Team The AIEO Outreach & Partnerships team engages and communicates with EPA Tribal Partnership Groups and external stakeholders through information sharing, building and maintaining relationships, and raising awareness about tribal programs, issues, and priorities. The O&P team facilitates coordination and communication among: Headquarters Indian Coordinators and Regional Indian Coordinators: staff from program offices and the regions (ex: OAR HIC is Pat Childers) who work with AIEO on tribal issues / actions that may be occurring. A list of these individuals is found on the AIEO website. Indian Program Policy Council: consisting of Deputy Assistant Administrators and Deputy Regional Administrators. They address issues of national significance impacting EPA’s work with tribes.

  17. EPA Tribal Program Structure In addition to internal communications, the Outreach & Partnerships team works to facilitate EPA’s interactions with our tribal partners: Regional Tribal Operations Committees: Each of the nine regions with federally recognized tribes has a Regional Tribal Operations or similar committee, which is a joint EPA-tribal committee consisting of regional leadership and tribes in that region. National Tribal Operations Committee: The EPA Administrator is co-chair of the National Tribal Operations Committee. This group consists of EPA senior leadership and 19 tribal representatives – referred to as the National Tribal Caucus. Together, they work on implementation of programs for which EPA and the tribes share responsibility as co-regulators. EPA-Tribal Partnership groups: For example, the National Tribal Air Association. Other groups include the Tribal Science Council, Tribal Pesticide Program Council, Tribal Waste and Response Assistance Program, National Tribal Water Council, National Tribal Toxics Committee, Exchange Network Tribal Governance Group, and the NEJAC Indigenous People’s Subcommittee.

  18. Outreach & Partnership Project – Tribal ecoAmbassadors EPA’s Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program partners Tribal College and University (TCU) professors with EPA scientists to solve the environmental problems most important to their communities The 2013-2014 group of Tribal ecoAmbassadors includes: • Menominee College – EnergyStar overhaul on campus • Northwest Indian College – Using community gardening to sustain traditional ecological knowledge • Little Big Horn College – Assessing and mitigating surface water contamination • Tohono O'odham Community College – Strengthening the local economy by developing construction materials out of recycled glass Applications accepted until July 31

  19. ecoAmbassador Photos Contact: Marissa McInnis, 202-564-2467 mcinnis.marissa@epa.gov

  20. Hot Topic – Consultation • Executive Order 13175, November 2000: Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments • Policies with tribal implications refers to activities that have “substantial direct effects”on one or more Indian tribes… • President Obama memorandum, November 2009: • Directs each agency to submit a plan on how they will comply with EO 13175 • EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes, May 2011: • Defines consultation as a process of meaningful communication and coordination between EPA and tribal officials prior to EPA taking actions or implementing decisions • The Policy is designed to ensure tribes have a meaningful and timely opportunity to provide input on EPA activities.

  21. EPA Consultation Policy Consultation at EPA consist of four phases: • Identification • Tribes request consultation • EPA identifies activities and affected tribes • Use tribal partnership groups to assist in screening activities • Notification • EPA notifies tribes of activities early in the process • Includes sufficient information and how to provide input • Input • Tribes provide input to EPA on consultation activities • Various interactions (e.g., phone calls, meetings, written or oral responses) • Follow-up • EPA provides feedback to tribes involved in consultation activities to explain how their input was considered in the final action

  22. Consultation Roles and Responsibilities Tribal Consultation Advisors (TCAs): • Serve as your in-office point-of-contact and subject matter experts • TCAs assist in identifying activities appropriate for consultation • Coordinate with AIEO to ensure consistency & transparency American Indian Environmental Office: • Lead and Administer TCAs • Provide guidance and oversight toward the goal of Agency consistency

  23. Consultation Resources • Tribal Consultation Opportunities Tracking System (TCOTS) http://tcots.epa.gov • EPA Tribal Consultation Opportunities Listserv • Regional and Program Office Implementation Procedures for EPA’s Consultation Policy

  24. Hot Topic – Direct Implementation EPA Indian Policy: • “Until Tribal Governments are willing and able to assume full responsibility for delegable programs, the Agency will retain responsibility for managing programs for reservations” Tribes are unable to assume certain authorities, or tribes may choose not to assume certain program management responsibilities. EPA has discretion in how it chooses to undertake direct implementation activities: • Regions may assign Agency personnel to perform direct implementation • Tribes can actively assist the regions in certain activities (ex: cooperative agreements)

  25. Staff Contacts AIEO staff: • JoAnn Chase: AIEO Director • Karin Koslow: AIEO Deputy Director • Andrew Baca: Outreach & Partnerships team leader • Luke Jones: Grants & Technical Assistance team leader • Jeff Besougloff: Law & Policy team leader • Andrew Byrne: AIEO lead for air issues • Dona Harris: AIEO lead for consultation

  26. Questions?