Working Effectively with Tribal Governments

Federal Indian Law and Policy

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Natural Resources and Environmental Laws (continued)

Snapshot of the Environmental Protection Agency's Laws and Indian Program Implementation: (continued)

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 7 U.S.C. 136(u), among other things, allows for tribes to enter cooperative agreements with the EPA for enforcement, and for tribes to obtain the ability to certify applicators of pesticides.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) 42 U.S.C. 9626, provides that tribes may be treated substantially the same as states under several provisions.

Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Section 404, 15 U.S.C. 84, and the Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), 42 U.S.C. 11001 et seq., are silent on tribal roles, but those roles have been addressed in EPA rule makings under these acts. EPCRA has been interpreted to allow a tribe to develop a local rule for coordinating emergency response, and to report either to the state or directly to the EPA, as states do.

Resource Conversation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq., has not been amended to make tribes eligible to manage programs for which states are eligible. However, tribes may apply to the EPA to waive certain federal requirements for reservation landfills.

To be federally approved, environmental programs established by a tribe must meet applicable federal standards and regulations. A key aspect of protecting the environment in Indian country is the enforcement of either tribal or federal environmental laws or regulations. Enforcement includes activities such as inspections, compliance monitoring, and other efforts to encourage compliance with environmental standards. Issuing and enforcing tribal rules and permits enables tribes to exercise authority to protect their environments.

For more information about the Environmental Protection Agency's Indian program and authorities visit the following link: http://www.epa.gov/tribalportal.

Select the right arrow to return to Additional Federal Laws Pertaining to Indian Tribes.

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