WASHINGTON– Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the EPA Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples, reinforcing the agency’s commitment to work with tribes on a government-to-government basis when issues of environmental justice arise.
“All tribal and indigenous communities deserve environmental and public health protection. Through this agreement, we are reinforcing our commitment to tribal communities, especially in addressing issues of Environmental Justice,” said Administrator McCarthy. “We know that tribes are uniquely impacted by a changing climate, which highlights the importance of this agreement and other agency actions, including funding research through the STAR Tribal health grants.”
Over the past 20 years, the agency has made substantial progress in developing both its tribal and environmental justice programs. Building on EPA’s Plan EJ 2014, the policy integrates 17 environmental justice and civil rights principles. The plan also identifies existing informational and resource tools to support EPA in its endeavor to make indigenous regions environmentally safe.
This policy, started in 2011, was developed through tribal government consultations, meetings with state and tribal organizations and three public comment periods engaging indigenous communities and other stakeholders.