Tribal Science Council “Regaining and Protecting Tribal Culture through Science” 6th AnnualNew England Tribal Environmental Training Conference May 12, 2003 Dan Kusnierz – Tribal Representative – TSC Region 1- Water Quality Specialist, Penobscot Nation Robert Hillger - TSC - Region 1- EPA New England Regional Scientist
Tribal Science CouncilBackground • Tribes discussed need for scientific support in Indian Country; • ORD AA suggested the formation of a Tribal Science Council; • ORD and AIEO/OW initiated EPA-Tribal work group, designed with Tribal Caucus; and • Endorsement of proposal by Tribal Caucus, June 2001 and Tribal Operations Committee July 2001.
The Tribal Science Council is co-chaired by: • Chris Gannon, Confederated Tribes Of Warm Springs; and • Sherry Sterling, EPA Office Of Prevention, Pesticides And Toxic Substances
Tribal Science CouncilWhat is the Mission? “ . . . a forum for interaction between Tribal and Agency Representative of mutual benefit and responsibility to work collaborativelyon environmental scientific issues . . .”
Tribal Science CouncilGoals • Develop a better understanding of the priority science issues of Tribes and the Agency’s ability to address these issues as part of it’s formal planning process. • Develop collaborative approaches for addressing priority scientific issues. • Share Agency scientific products or activities.
Tribal Science CouncilGoals • Promote partnerships between Tribal and Agency scientists in the development and application of sound science. • Facilitate the communication and coordination with other agencies and organizations to more effectively respond to issues.
Tribal Science CouncilHow do we work together? • Operate as a work group of the Agency, not FACA group. • Consists of official designated Tribal and Agency Representatives. • TSC Representatives are expected to work with their respective groups-Tribes, program offices, Regions, and Agency sponsored Tribal Advisory groups. • Monthly conference calls and 2-3 meetings per year. (Note: See organizational chart)
Design meeting with Tribal Caucaus Initial TSC meeting with official representatives National Tribal Conference and TSC meeting December 2000 December 2001 June 2002 Tribal Science CouncilMajor Events
Initial Identification of Tribal Science Priorities Workshops: Endocrine Disruptors Work Shop; Risk Assessment and Health and Well Being Work Shop September 2002 September 2002 February 2003 Tribal Science CouncilMajor Events
ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR WORKSHOPSeptember 19, 2002 • Provided information about EPA’s Science and Policy developments related to endocrine disruptor compounds (edc); • Provided information about Tribal concerns with edc’s related to a subsistence lifestyle; • Tribal participants presented their interest in endocrine disruptor compounds (edc’s); • Scientists from four EPA offices presented the history and status of EPA’s edc program; and • Discussion period involving all participants identified the next steps.
RISK ASSESSMENT AND TRIBAL HEALTH/WELL BEING PARADIGM WORKSHOPFebruary 19-20, 2003 The purpose of the workshop was the following: • To seek a common understanding of EPA’s risk assessment paradigm and the tribal health and well being paradigm; and (2) To determine how best to gain consideration for the health and well being paradigm in EPA’s risk assessment process
RISK ASSESSMENT AND TRIBAL HEALTH/WELL BEING PARADIGM WORKSHOPFebruary 19-20, 2003 Work Shop Format: • Overviews Of Each Paradigm; • Panel Discussions Of Each Paradigm; • Discussion Of Commonalities; and • Next Steps - Development Of Illustrative Case Studies.
OTHER TRIBAL SCIENCE COUNCIL ACTIVITIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: • Tribal participation at the Regional-office of Research and Development Workshop on Cumulative Risk (November 2002); • Expanding participation of Tribal Scientists in TSC Workshops and science-topic calls; • Participation of Tribal Representatives in EPA Science Forum 2003, may 5-7th in Washington, DC
TRIBAL SCIENCE PRIORITIESSEPTEMBER 17-18, 2002 • This document, authorized by a Tribal Science Council (TSC) subcommittee, identifies eight (8) tribal science priorities that the council has targeted to address. • For each of the eight tribal priority areas, the environmental issue is defined, background discussion is provided, and action items are identified. • Tribal science priorities serves as a guide to direct future TSC activity.
TRIBAL SCIENCE PRIORITIES • Support Issues • Administrative support of the work group for Tribal representatives; • Tribal Technical support
TRIBAL SCIENCE PRIORITIES • Identified September 2002 • Science Categories: • Traditional Tribal Life ways including Risk Assessment; • Endocrine Disruptors; • Dioxin Reassessment and Reference dose; • Cumulative Impacts; • Persistent Organic Impacts; • Toxic molds; • Pharmaceuticals in wastewater • Tribal research