Environmental Protection

$1.75-Million Grant to Strengthen Tribal Partnerships

Northern Arizona University's Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals received a $1.75 million grant to support a steering committee of tribal co-regulators to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on solid and hazardous waste cleanup issues, according to a recent press release.

EPA also is releasing a tribal strategy to advance the protection and restoration of land in Indian country. The new strategy provides a detailed plan of how the agency will strengthen its partnership with tribes to advance the shared goal of protecting public health and land resources in Indian country.

"This tribal strategy and grant award represent a new and stronger commitment from EPA and the tribes to work together on these important issues," said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "Over the next five years, EPA and the tribes will work closely together to prevent land contamination and bring contaminated land back to productive use."

The grant money will be used by the steering committee to advise and assist with federal policy formulation on protecting and restoring land in Indian country; develop and provide training; provide technical assistance and research on hazardous substances throughout Indian country; and conduct outreach for program development and service delivery to ascertain evolving needs and tribal priorities.

The tribal strategy includes steps that EPA will take to strengthen tribal management of solid and hazardous waste to advance cleanup and reuse of contaminated properties, Superfund sites that affect tribal lands, and leaking underground storage tanks. EPA will support an annual tribal forum to discuss progress and potential modifications to the tribal strategy.

For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/oswer/tribal/.

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