Frequent Questions

Are tribal and indigenous communities within the definition of overburdened communities?

Tribal and indigenous communities are included in EPA’s definition of overburdened communities under Plan EJ 2014. For nearly thirty years, EPA has worked with federally recognized tribal governments on a government-to-government basis as sovereigns, partners, and co-regulators. EPA has also worked with indigenous communities to address their environmental and health concerns and involve them in EPA decision-making.

As EPA implements EPA Actions, it will continue to ensure the meaningful engagement of indigenous communities in the permitting process to promote environmental justice, while also consulting with tribes on EPA-issued permits that may affect tribes or their resources as appropriate. This approach is consistent with the working draft of the EPA Policy on Environmental Justice for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples, which was recently released for public review and comment.

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