EPA lets tribes talk

Safeguarding environment and heritage

The Environmental Protection Agency recently formed a committee that will give federally recognized Native Indian tribes a bigger say in developing chemical-management and pollution-prevention programs, according to an EPA press release.

The National Tribal Toxics Committee will give tribes a way to provide advice about how chemical-exposure and pollution-prevention initiatives—including poisoning from lead paint—affect tribal lands. By better understanding cultural views on environmental issues, the EPA hopes it will be able to better address those issues.

The first NTTC meeting will be held in the spring. In the meantime, officials plan to develop a charter and form a member council.

“We are committed to reducing toxic exposures and increasing pollution prevention among local tribal communities, and to respecting tribal sovereignty, culture and heritage,” said EPA administrator Steve Owens.