Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Resolution Recommending Amendments to the EPA Policy for the Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian Lands
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                A F F I L I A T E D   T R I B E S   O F
                   N O R T H W E S T   I N D I A N S

                         RESOLUTION #84-F-013

     WHEREAS, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians notes 
              that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
              issued copies of a draft Environmental Protection 
              Agency Policy for the Administration of 
              Environmental Programs on Indian Reservations to 
              all Indian Governments on July 18, 1984; and  
     WHEREAS, the ATNI recognized that member Tribal governments 
              received copies of the draft EPA Policy on or about 
              August 22, 1984; and  
     WHEREAS, the ATNI observes that the Environmental Protection 
              Agency intends to publish a policy for the 
              Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian 
              Lands in the near future, and a national Indian 
              response to the draft policy is warranted; and  
     WHEREAS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft 
              policy addresses nine principles which asserts in 
              1. EPA will work directly with Indian Governments on a one-to-one basis, rather
than as sub-divisions of other governments.  
              2. EPA will recognize Indian Governments as the 
                 "primary parties for setting standards, making 
                 environmental policy decisions and managing 
                 programs on reservations, consistent with Agency 
                 standards and regulations."
              3. EPA will take steps to "encourage and assist 
                 Tribes in assuming regulatory and program 
                 management responsibilities for reservation 
              4. EPA will remove existing legal and procedural 
                 impediments to working directly and effectively 
                 with Tribal governments.  
              5. EPA will consider Tribal concerns and interest 
                 whenever EPA actions and/or decisions impact 
                 reservation environments.  
              6. EPA will encourage cooperation between Tribal 
                 and State governments to resolve environmental 
              7. EPA will work with other Federal agencies and 
                 secure their interest and support in cooperative 
                 efforts to help Tribes.  
              8. EPA will work to assure compliance with 
                 environmental statues and regulations on Indian 
              9. EPA will incorporate the above policy goals into 
                 its planning and management activities 
                 including: budget, operating guidance, 
                 legislative initiatives, management 
                 accountability, and ongoing policy and guideline 
     WHEREAS, the A.T.N.I. finds the draft EPA Policy for the 
              Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian 
              Lands is in general accord with longstanding 
              positions and policies enunciated by the A.T.N.I. 
              organization though specific amendments and 
              adjustments must be made before the Policy is 
              formally instituted; and 
     THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Affiliated Tribes of 
              Northwest Indians does hereby recommends the 
              following amendments or adjustments in the 
              Environmental Protection Agency Policy for the 
              Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian 
     In principle #1 the EPA asserts that it will work with 
     Indian governments on a one-to-one basis and not as sub-
     divisions of other governments. To make this principle 
     meaningful principle #2 must be amended to strike the clause 
     insert the clause "IN ACCORDANCE WITH STANDARDS AND 
     clause should be supplemented with an additional clause 
     which reads: "where Tribal government and EPA policies, 
     standards and regulations are incompatible negotiation of 
     the differences will be initiated with Tribal governments to 
     make the necessary adjustments in either the EPA or Tribal 
     government standards and regulations."
     In principle #5 the EPA asserts that "TRIBAL CONCERNS AND 
     of the last clause should be added to with the  following: 
     "by preparing and issuing a 'Reservation Impact Statement' 
     prior to considerations of implementation."  
     In principle #8, the EPA asserts that it will "STRIVE TO 
     ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS." While the draft EPA principle does 
     not directly say how the EPA will assure compliance on 
     Indian reservations it is not certain that any; Indian 
     government is prepared to relinquish its jurisdiction over 
     environmental questions to the U.S. Environmental Protection 
     Agency. Further, the EPA draft policy #8 explanation assert 
     that: "direct Federal action through the judicial or 
     administrative process will be considered..." to force an 
     Indian government to comply with EPA standards and 
     regulations when certain conditions exist. Principle #8 is 
     neither consistent with the spirit of government-to-
     government relations, nor with the mutually cooperative 
     intent of the policy stated in principle #1. Furthermore, 
     this principle constitutes a direct threat to the integrity 
     and authority of Indian governments which EPA asserts it 
     desires to recognize. Finally, the Affiliated Tribes of 
     Northwest Indians rejects the idea that an Agency of the 
     United States government should presume to exercise such 
     powers to force agreement by Indian Governments. We suggest 
     that Principle #8 be stricken and replaced by the following 
     statement: "In those cases where facilities owned or managed 
     by Tribal Governments are not in compliance with Federal 
     environmental statutes EPA will work cooperatively with 
     Tribal leadership to develop means to achieve compliance or 
     agreement on alternatives, providing technical support and 
     consultation as necessary to enable Tribal facilities to 


     The foregoing resolution was duly endorsed at the Annual 
     Conference of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, at 
     Spokane, Washington, on September 8, 1984, with a quorum 
     present and voting. 

     __________________________      ____________________________
     Delbert Frank, President        Faith Mayhew, Secretary

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