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TRI National Analysis

Tribal Communities

Under EPA policy, the Agency works with federally recognized tribes on a government-to-government basis to protect the land, air, and water in Indian country and Alaska Native villages and to support tribal assumption of program authority. Facilities located in Indian country that meet TRI reporting requirements must indicate the appropriate three-digit Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) tribal code on annual TRI reporting forms. These codes tell the EPA on which tribal land the facility is located.

In 2019, there were 40 facilities located in the Indian country of 17 different federally recognized tribes that reported to TRI. These facilities collectively managed nearly 25 million pounds of production-related waste, 7.4 million pounds of which was disposed of or otherwise released. Of the releases reported, 99.7% were released on site; 92% of these were on-site disposal to land from electric utilities and metal mining facilities. These facilities primarily released metal compounds such as lead, barium, and copper. Lead and copper are often present in the mineral ore disposed of by metal mines, and barium is present in coal and oil combusted at electric utilities.

The table below provides more details about various types of releases and other waste management reported by facilities on federally recognized tribal lands.

Quick Facts for 2019: Facilities on Tribal Lands

Measure Value
Number of Facilities that Reported to TRI 40
Number of Tribes with TRI Facilities on Their Lands 17
Production-Related Waste Managed 24.59 million lb
Recycling 9.00 million lb
Energy Recovery 0.13 million lb
Treatment 8.08 million lb
Disposal or Other Releases 7.38 million lb
Total Disposal or Other Releases 7.38 million lb
On-site 7.36 million lb
Air 0.62 million lb
Water 1.10 thousand lb
Land 6.74 million lb
Off-site 0.02 million lb

The Tribal Communities Dashboard makes it easy to explore information about releases of TRI chemicals from facilities on or near tribal lands. An example of the type of TRI information in the Tribal Communities Dashboard is shown in the interactive chart below. Use the buttons in the top row to filter the data by industry sector, chemical, and/or tribe. Change the data displayed in the pie chart below using the blue dropdown button on the left.

The interactive table below lists the federally recognized tribes that had at least one TRI-reporting facility on their lands, along with the total releases reported by facilities, the number of facilities, and the number of chemicals reported. Click on a column header to change how the table is sorted.

Total Disposal or Other Releases on Tribal Lands by Tribe, 2019

Additional resources for tribes are available on the TRI for Tribal Communities webpage, including more detailed analyses of TRI data, links to other online tools, and contact information for EPA’s Tribal Program Managers.

This page was published in January 2021 and uses the 2019 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2020.

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