Inter-Tribal Environmental Council

"...to protect the health of Native Americans, their natural resources, and their environment"
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General Assistance Program (GAP)

The United States Congress first authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop the Multi-Media Assistance Program and was subsequently enacted as the "Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act of 1992." In 1993, EPA promulgated program specific grant regulations that govern the award of the General Assistance Program (GAP) grants (58 Federal Register 63878, Dec 2, 1993; 40 CFR Part 35, Subpart Q). EPA also developed revised GAP guidelines dated March 9, 2000 outlining the award and management of GAP agreements.

Objective: The principle objective of ITEC's GAP program continues to focus on providing opportunities for its member Tribes to assess, evaluate and develop plans to address environmental and public health issues. Technical assistance is available to develop multi-media programs addressing environmental issues pertinent to the ITEC member Tribes.

The ITEC GAP program is comprised of four main components identified as:

Infrastructure Development
Skills and Training Development
Needs Assessment
Environmental Program Development

GAP Accomplishments

Sets of legal environmental codes were drafted to serve as models for the ITEC member Tribes. These model codes are currently available for distribution to the ITEC member Tribes and include solid waste, hazardous waste and water quality.

The ITEC staff is available to assist member Tribes with the development or revision of Tribal Environmental Agreements, Memorandums of Agreements, Memorandums of Understanding, etc. The development of these agreements provides the ITEC member Tribes an optional process by which environmental needs or issues are identified as baseline studies and environmental plans are developed. These agreements will also support and identify the willingness of EPA to recognize the programmatic needs and resources essential to the collective effort of environmental protection. Templates are available for distribution to the ITEC member Tribes.

Program analysis of Tribal environmental management infrastructure is recognized as a priority in order to implement standards for effective internal management and fiscal responsibility. Assistance is available to the member tribes with the development of a Management Plan describing the Organization, Fiscal Management, and Programmatic Administration. Also, assistance is available with the development of Quality Assurance Project Plans if a project involves collecting environmental data. Templates of these plans are available for distribution to the ITEC member Tribes.

The ITEC staff recognizes the need for ITEC member Tribes to access information electronically. Internet access provides an opportunity to access general regulatory topics, program information, and provide an efficient form of information exchange. The ITEC staff currently focuses on maintaining web site material and providing updates in a timely manner. The CNEP staff developed a web site that serves as a one-stop point of communication for outside entities to utilize for information distribution to its ITEC member Tribes. This enables the Tribes access to funding notices, rules and regulations and the Quarterly Newsletter, which allows ITEC member Tribes the availability to access events and concerns throughout the year. Rather than inundating the ITEC contacts with daily updates, the ITEC staff will maintain an updated web site with a variety of options for the ITEC contacts to select from. The ITEC website can be found at www.itecmembers.org.

A quarterly newsletter is developed and distributed to the ITEC contacts from each of the member Tribes and representatives from various federal agencies and organizations. The newsletter contains articles on specific media initiatives, updates from national Tribal organizations, and upcoming events. Tribal programs are encouraged to submit articles reflecting accomplishments to serve as a "showcase" of Tribal program achievement.

The ITEC staff coordinates and conducts an annual environmental conference held on a rotating schedule in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. The conference format is a two-day event with a general assembly and breakout sessions. Speakers are scheduled to serve as presenters on topics from a national, regional, and local perspective. Vendors are also coordinated to provide current information on technology and organizations pertinent to environmental program development.

Training is provided by ITEC staff to member Tribes at locations in Oklahoma and New Mexico. Courses offered include 8 hr Hazwoper Refresher, GIS/GPS, Open Dump Assessment, Sampling Methods, Radon, Indoor Air, Stream Assessment and Phase I Assessments. Staff asks for member Tribe’s input and will offer classes to meet their needs.

ITEC staff currently takes applications from member tribes for assistance with compiling their environmental sampling data. Assistance is given to establish a template for Tribal environmental data and further assistance is given to help upload this data on the STORET database.

The ITEC staff recognizes the necessity for on-site visits to each member Tribe of the consortium for conducting Tribal environmental needs assessments. This activity assists the CNEP staff by identifying current and unique environmental issues addressed by each ITEC member Tribe. This essential program element assists in determining environmental issues with the potential to negatively impact the health and welfare of the ITEC member Tribes. Meetings are conducted on year round by request.

The ITEC staff has compiled databases to assist the ITEC Tribes with the development of environmental characterizations. Information included in the databases include: Tribal oil & gas locations, criteria air pollutants and HAPs, illegal dumps, landfills, transfer stations, UST site monitoring wells, and Tribal watershed data.

The RCRA, Air, UST, Brownfields and Superfund Programs offer assistance to member Tribes on different aspects of these programs that apply to member Tribes and their Tribal lands. 

 

ITEC History

ITEC History

The mission of the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council (ITEC) is to protect the health of Native Americans, their natural resources and their environment as it relates to air, land and water.
To accomplish this mission, ITEC provides technical support, training and environmental services in a variety of environmental disciplines. ITEC has member Tribes in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
The office has a technical professional staff who are committed to providing technical support, training and environmental services to the individual member Tribes. In addition, the staff is committed to assisting each individual Tribe with other environmentally-related issues and concerns as they may arise.

2011 - The ITEC programs include the General Assistance Program, the ITEC Training Grant, Clean Air Program, Clean Water Program, Pesticides Program, Underground Storage Tank/Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program, Superfund Program, Brownfields Program, and Information Exchange Network Program.

2006 - The ITEC programs include the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, the ITEC Training Grant, Clean Air Program, Underground Storage Tank/Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program, Superfund Program, National Environmental Information Exchange Network (NEIEN) Challenge Project, RCRA Subtitle D Solid Waste Programs and ITEC Brownfields Response Program (IBRP).

2005 - The OES became Cherokee Nation's Environmental Programs (CNEP). The ITEC programs include the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, the ITEC Training Grant, Clean Air Program, Underground Storage Tank/Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program, Superfund Program, National Environmental Information Exchange Network (NEIEN) Challenge Project, RCRA Subtitle D Solid Waste Programs and ITEC Brownfields Response Program (IBRP). In addition, ITEC is providing management assistance for four Superfund sites which impact tribal land: Tar Creek in northeastern Oklahoma; Hudson Refinery near Cushing; Tulsa Fuels and Manufacturing near Collinsville; and Oklahoma Refinery Company in southwestern Oklahoma.

2004 - The ITEC programs including the Indian General Assistance Program, a Clean Air Program, a RCRA Subtitle C Hazardous Waste Program, a RCRA Subtitle D Solid Waste Program, a RCRA Underground Storage Tank/Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program, a ITEC Brownfields Response Program funded by EPA, the ITEC Training Grant, and the Superfund Program. Technical assistance has also been provided to non-ITEC member tribes within Region 6 and across the country.

2003 - The ITEC programs include the Indian General Assistance Program (GAP), a Clean Air Program, a RCRA Subtitle C Hazardous Waste Program, a RCRA Subtitle D Solid Waste Program, a RCRA Underground Storage Tank/Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program funded by EPA, the ITEC Training Grant and the Superfund Program.

2002 - The ITEC Training Grant was added to the ITEC programs. This grant provides technical training to Tribes throughout EPA Region 6.

2001 - The ITEC programs again included Superfund, GAP, UST, Clean Air, Solid Waste and a Hazardous Waste Program was added for ITEC. A Clean Water 106 grant, Chemical Emergency Preparedness & Prevention grant and Brownfields Pilot Project were added and they will be managed by the OES for the Cherokee Nation.

2000 - The five basic programs were still in place but, one other project grant was added. That grant was a U.S.G.S. MetaData training grant.

1999 - The Oil/Gas Program was phased out by the EPA. As in the previous year, the ITEC programs were limited to Superfund, GAP, UST, Clean Air and Solid Waste.

1998 - The Oil/Gas Program was added. The Oil/Gas Program was designed to provide Tribal oil/gas databases, oil spill notification and training. The ITEC programs included Superfund, GAP, UST, Clean Air, Solid Waste and Oil/Gas.

1997 - Both a Clean Air and a Solid Waste Program were added. Clean Air was designed to digitize Tribal landbases, conduct source/emission inventories and conduct ambient air monitoring. Solid Waste was designed to develop solid waste codes, training and educational outreach. The programs were now Superfund, GAP, UST, Clean Air and Solid Waste.

1996 - The Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program was added. The UST Program was designed to help the ITEC member Tribes comply with existing federal regulations by upgrading and managing their UST's. The ITEC programs included Superfund, GAP and UST.

1995 - The Multi-Media Program became the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) with essentially the same goals. The programs still only included Superfund and GAP.

1994 - ITEC was expanded to include a Multi-Media Program. Under the Multi-Media Program, the OES assisted the ITEC member Tribes in developing their capacity to manage environmental programs. The programs included Superfund and Multi-Media.


1993 - The scope of the Superfund Program was expanded to include 31 member Tribes in Oklahoma. A Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the EPA Region VI Office and the member Tribes. Thus, ITEC was formed. Under this MOU, the Cherokee Nation serves as an "agent" for developing, receiving and administering grants for ITEC. The Hazardous Waste Management Office's name was changed to the Office of Environmental Services (OES). Superfund was the only program.

1991 - The Cherokee Nation established the Cherokee Hazardous Waste Management Office and a Superfund Program with funding from the EPA Region VI Office. The Superfund Program was exclusive to the Cherokee Nation through 1992. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ITEC Mission Statement

The mission of the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council (ITEC) is to protect the health of Native Americans, their natural resources and their environment as it relates to air, land and water.

To accomplish this mission, ITEC provides technical support, training and environmental services in a variety of environmental disciplines. ITEC has member Tribes in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

The office has a technical professional staff who are committed to providing technical support, training and environmental services to the individual member Tribes. In addition, the staff is committed to assisting each individual Tribe with other environmentally-related issues and concerns as they may arise.