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News Releases from Region 10

EPA Awards Cooperative Agreement to Support the National Tribal Toxics Council, Zender Environmental

Five-year grant to Zender Environmental Health and Research Group will assist NTTC’s work with tribes to develop pollution prevention and chemical risk management programs

Contact Information: 
Suzanne Skadowski (

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing a cooperative agreement to support the National Tribal Toxics Council (NTTC). Under the agreement, EPA will provide up to $800,000 over five years to Zender Environmental Health and Research Group to support the NTTC’s work representing tribal interests in the development and implementation of chemical risk assessment, risk management, and pollution prevention programs.

“Our partnership with the NTTC has strengthened EPA programs and developed new opportunities to protect public health and the environment in Indian country,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “The work done through this cooperative agreement will help sustain and support NTTC’s mission to raise awareness of risk management and pollution prevention issues in Indian country.”

“This agreement signals EPA’s continued commitment to working closely and collaboratively with tribes across the country,” said EPA Office of International and Tribal Affairs Assistant Administrator Chad McIntosh. “The NTTC plays a vital role in sharing information, setting priorities, getting important work done in Indian country.”

“EPA is proud to support the NTTC and its mission to advance pollution prevention and toxics management in Indian country,” said Director of EPA’s American Indian Environmental Office Scott Mason. “We value our tribal partnerships.”

“With this agreement, we’re partnering for the future with the National Tribal Toxics Council, said Chris Hladick, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle. “By training tribal technicians to reduce and manage toxic waste in tribal communities, Zender Environmental Health and Research Group is helping create a path to a cleaner, healthier future for generations to come. Ultimately, this partnership will benefit both the community and the environment.”

Through this cooperative agreement, the NTTC:

  • Provides training, technical information and outreach in Indian country to increase the awareness and understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA);
  • Encourages the development of programs to prevent pollution;
  • Enhances tribal consultation and collaboration with federal, state, and local governments; and
  • Facilitates networking, collaboration, and outreach to support national, regional, and individual tribes’ needs and concerns.

 For example, last month, in collaboration with the NTTC and over 200 tribal representatives, EPA published the Lead Awareness in Indian Country: Keeping Our Children Healthy! curriculum. This educational tool raises awareness in tribal communities about childhood lead exposure and encourages actions that can be taken to reduce and/or prevent exposure.

EPA is also working in partnership with the NTTC to facilitate consultations with tribes on upcoming rules to address unreasonable risks to public health found in the agency’s recently released final TSCA chemical risk evaluations.  

About the National Tribal Toxics Council (NTTC)

The NTTC is an EPA Tribal Partnership Group that focused on providing Tribes with an opportunity for greater input on issues related to toxic chemicals and pollution prevention. NTTC gives tribes a forum for providing advice on the development of EPA's chemical management and pollution prevention programs that affect tribes. Given the uniqueness of tribal cultures, communities and environmental problems, the forum will help EPA better tailor and more efficiently address a variety of issues, expand pollution prevention and safer chemical initiatives in Indian country, and better evaluate unique chemical exposures on tribal lands.

About Zender Environmental Health and Research Group

Zender Environmental Health and Research Group is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The purpose of our organization is to provide environmental program services for underserved Tribal and isolated-rural populations where the need exists. Zender provides locally-requested assistance to environmental programs to build capacity in environmental planning, monitoring, and research, including associated environmental grant management or grant writing for program improvement and expansion. Assistance is performed in a manner that builds, and trains for, local capacity in performing these endeavors independently in the future, and is locally-appropriate.