Cleanup and Prevention Programs

EPA takes strides to prevent and cleanup contamination and contaminated sites located on or near Tribal lands. Our programs work hand-in-hand with tribes to ensure we protect their health and the environment.

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Tribal Superfund Program

EPA’s Superfund tribal program implements the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) which provides broad authority for federal program response to releases of hazardous substances. Under CERCLA, EPA can afford Indian tribes substantially the same treatment as states, and we work with tribes to identify and respond to eligible cleanup needs, enhance tribal participation in the cleanup process at sites impacting tribes, and provide technical assistance for effective cleanup of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. Learn more about the Superfund Program.

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Tribes and Federal Facilities

Tribal governments have distinct roles in cleanups of federal facilities under treaties with the U.S. government. Accordingly, EPA works in partnership with tribal governments, both at the facility level and at the national policy-making level. The framework for EPA tribal involvement is a tribal strategy that is designed to address the needs of—and mitigate impacts to—American Indian tribes, including Alaskan Native villages, living on or near federal facilities. Learn more about federal facilities.

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Tribal Brownfields Program

EPA manages the cleanup, redevelopment and revitalization of brownfield sites under the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (Brownfields Law). The Brownfields Law authorizes funding for assessment and cleanup of brownfields properties and for state and tribal response programs. For more information on EPA’s Brownfields efforts. Learn more about the Tribal Brownfields Program.

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Underground Storage Tanks in Indian Country

EPA works with its state, territorial, tribal, and industry partners to clean up releases from underground storage tanks (USTs). Left unattended, releases can contaminate soil, groundwater, surface water, or indoor air.  Regulations require that USTs are installed properly; protected from spills, overfills, and corrosion; equipped with release detection; and properly closed. Learn more about underground storage tanks and preventing and detecting UST releases.

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Tribal Waste Management Program

EPA encourages environmentally sound waste management practices that promote resource conservation through recycling, recovery, reduction, clean up, and elimination of waste under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The Tribal Waste Management Program provides national policy direction, and partners with the EPA Regions and other federal agencies to assist tribes with the management of their waste. The Tribal Waste Management Program also provides technical assistance, training and funding, facilitates waste program peer matches among tribes, education, and outreach to tribes. Learn more about the tribal waste management program.

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Emergency Response and Management

EPA responds to oil spills, chemical, biological, radiological releases, and large-scale national emergencies. EPA also provides additional response assistance when state, tribal, or local first responder capabilities have been exhausted or when additional support is requested. Learn more about emergency response and management.

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