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Developing a Tribal and Indigenous Peoples Environmental Justice Policy


In order to more effectively work with federally-recognized tribes and indigenous stakeholders to address their environmental justice concerns, EPA has developed Working Draft of its tribal and indigenous peoples environmental justice policy. 

To develop this policy, EPA has formed two work groups, one to advise EPA, consisting of external stakeholders, and the other to develop the policy, consisting of EPA employees:

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Focus Areas

EPA is addressing four focus areas in the policy:

  1. How EPA is to incorporate EJ into its environmental capacity building and implementation policies and programs for federally-recognized tribes;

  2. How EPA is to incorporate EJ into its direct implementation of federal environmental programs in Indian country;

  3. How EPA is to effectively work with tribal community-based organizations, state-recognized tribes, tribal members, and other indigenous peoples to address their EJ concerns, within or outside Indian country; and

  4. How EPA is to work with other federal agencies to address federally-recognized tribes, state-recognized tribes, tribal community-based organizations, tribal members, or non-members on reservations environmental justice issues.

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Working Draft of the Policy

The Agency is making available the Working Draft of the EPA Policy on Environmental Justice for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples (9 pp, 437K) for public review and comment.

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Tribal consultation on the "Working Draft" of the EPA Policy on Environmental Justice and Indigenous Peoples was initiated on November 14, 2012, and ended on December 31. The national tribal government informational webinars and national tribal consultation calls were held on November 27, 2012, November 28, 2012, December 12, 2012, and December 13, 2012.

The public comment period began on January 3 and will conclude on February 15, 2013.

The indigenous stakeholders and general public webinars to discuss the Working Draft of the policy were held January 22, 2013, January 24, 2013, and January 31, 2013.

The initial tribal consultation and public comments periods were held February through April, 2012.

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Status The Agency received over 250 comments during the tribal consultation and public comment periods held from November 14, 2012 – February 28, 2013. EPA is currently reviewing the comments. The Agency is planning to complete the policy in September 2013.

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Tribal & Indigenous Peoples Environmental Justice (TIPEJ) Work Group Members

Office Name
Region 1 Mike Stover
Region 2 Grant Jonathan
Region 3 Terry Gallagher
Region 6 Jeannine Hale & Mark Allen
Region 10 Tami Fordham & Kristie Carre
Office of Environmental Information Beth Jackson
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Jonathan Binder
Office of Air and Radiation Laura McKelvey
Office of General Counsel Jessica Scott
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Andrew Baca
Office of Research and Development Gelena Constantine & Allison Martin
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Caren Robinson & Brian Davidson
Office of International and Tribal Affairs Dianne Briggs
Office of Water Felicia Wright
American Indian Environmental Office Dona Harris, Co-Chair
Office of Environmental Justice Danny Gogal, Co-Chair

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"Expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice are among my top priorities… All too often, low-income, minority and tribal Americans live in the shadows of the worst pollution, facing disproportionate health impacts and greater obstacles to economic growth in communities that cannot attract businesses and new jobs." - EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson


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