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Compliance & Enforcement in Indian Country

Facilities in Indian country must comply with environmental laws and requirements in the same manner and to the same extent as any other regulated facility located outside Indian country.

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EPA works closely with federally recognized Indian tribes to ensure compliance at federally regulated facilities in Indian country. Tribes authorized to implement federal enforcement programs must have enforcement authorities that are at least as stringent as federal law. Where tribal implementation authority is lacking or unavailable, EPA directly implements federal environmental programs and ensures compliance with federal environmental laws. In both cases, EPA works with officials in tribal environmental, health and agricultural agencies on strategic planning, priority-setting and measurement of results through the following programs:

  • Compliance Monitoring Program assesses and documents compliance with permits and regulations, supports the enforcement process through evidence collection, monitors compliance with enforcement orders and decrees, creates deterrence, and provides feedback on implementation challenges to permit and rule writers.
  • Enforcement Program works to ensure compliance by taking, when warranted, civil or criminal action against violators of environmental laws, including Superfund and federal facilities enforcement.
  • Compliance Assistance Program provides tribes, businesses, local governments and federal facilities with tools to help meet environmental regulatory requirements. Compliance assistance tools and methods include one-to-one counseling, online resource centers, fact sheets, guides and training.
  • Environmental Justice Program works with all stakeholders, including tribes and indigenous peoples, to constructively and collaboratively address environmental and public health issues and concern.

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Indian Country Policies and Guidance


Media Specific

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Data and Resources

EPA's enforcement and compliance assurance program uses data in many areas, including managing the program and assessing performance:

  • Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) - Data on regulated facilities in Indian country are available from Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO).
  • Safe Drinking Water Act Dashboard - Provides information on whether the water system where you live is keeping up with environmental laws.
  • EJSCREEN - An environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides EPA with a nationally consistent dataset and approach for combining environmental and demographic indicators.
  • EPA Profile of Tribal Government Operations - Presents information on the environmental regulations that may apply to tribal government operations and related pollution-prevention opportunities. Provides tribes with key information needed to ensure compliance with federal and tribal environmental regulations and simultaneously build tribal environmental program capacity for environmental compliance.
  • EPA Communities and EPA Protecting Children’s Environmental Health Page - For tribal government officials and community members seeking to address complex environmental challenges.
  • EPA Data and Results Program - Additional online data resources.

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Training for Tribal Environmental Professionals

The National Enforcement Training Institute provides online eLearning, live webinar, and classroom training opportunities to environmental enforcement personnel (including government inspectors, the legal community, and investigators) in federal, tribal, state and local governments.

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Grants to Tribes

Describes a variety of funding sources related to EPA's enforcement and compliance assurance program and work with tribes and states.

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