Inter-Tribal Environmental Council

" protect the health of Native Americans, their natural resources, and their environment"

Superfund Program

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980. This created a federally funded program that provides for the evaluation and cleanup of abandoned hazardous waste sites. The Superfund program also established a mechanism for the compensation of stakeholders, such as Indian Tribes, who are impacted by such hazardous waste sites.

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended CERCLA on October 17, 1986. After the first six years of the Superfund program, SARA was enacted to propel several important changes and additions to the program. Among other changes, SARA required Superfund actions to consider the standards and requirements found in other State and Federal environmental laws and regulations; increased State involvement in every phase of the Superfund program; increased the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste sites; and increased the size of the trust fund to $8.5 billion.

CERCLA also provides for emergency actions, such as the cleanup of sites or chemicals spills which pose an immediate danger to human health. In the event that your tribe is impacted by such an emergency situation, you should call the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Response Center 24-HOUR EMERGENCY HOTLINE at 1-800-424-8802. 

 The ITEC Superfund Program can provide non-emergency evaluation of a site on behalf of an ITEC-Member Tribe only if the following three criteria are met:

1. Hazardous waste (as defined in CERCLA) is known or suspected to be present on site.

2. The site, such as an industrial, manufacturing, landfill, etc. is abandoned or inactive.

3. Wastes on the site are impacting, or have the potential to impact, tribal lands or tribal populations.

ITEC has evaluated 380 potentially hazardous waste sites and projects under the Superfund Program which could impact member tribes and their lands. The sites were located on or near trust lands within tribes' jurisdictional boundaries. 

Technical Management Assistance:

The ITEC Superfund program provides Management Assistance to tribes that are impacted by sites that are on the National Priories List, including those NPL sites that are in the remedial and post-remedial stages of the clean up process. Management Assistance ensures that tribes impacted by Superfund sites are involved in the decision making process and are kept informed of all activities being conducted on those sites by the EPA, ODEQ, and their contractors. This ensures that the EPA and other regulatory agencies and contractors, when deciding on remedial goals and methods, consider tribal concerns. 

ITEC provides technical management assistance to member tribes for the following Superfund Sites:

  • Tar Creek Located In Ottawa County, Oklahoma 
  • Wilcox Oil Refinery Located In Bristow, Oklahoma 
  • Hudson Refinery Located In Cushing, Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma Refining Company Located In Cyril, Oklahoma
  • Henryetta Iron and Metal in Henryetta, Oklahoma

The program also provides technical training related to the Superfund Process for the environmental staff of the ITEC member Tribes. 


Contact Information

Jason White, Environmental Director
(918) 453-5110

Chelsea Jones, Environmental Specialist IV
(918) 453-5768

Laura Downing, Environmental Specialist I
(918) 453-5118

Sites to Look for in Your Tribal Jurisdiction!

Do you have any sites (manufacturing, industrial, businesses, etc.) within your tribal jurisdiction that are abandoned, for sale or no longer operational? Do they contain items that could cause an immediate threat to human health or the environment? If you answered yes to any of those questions, contact us! ITEC can investigate those types of sites and potentially conduct a Pre-CERCLA Screening Report to determine if additional investigation may be warranted.

Not sure if any of the above really pertains to your site you have in question, but still have questions? Contact us!