Tribal Air Quality Projects and Programs | Region 10 | US EPA

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Tribal Air Quality Projects and Programs

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Below is a listing of current and planned air quality projects and other resources for Indian country in Region 10. For more information about these projects, please contact Nancy Helm (helm.nancy@epa.gov) at (206) 553-0908. Many of the projects are described in more detail in our Tribal Air Program Strategic Plan (PDF) (76pp. 600K).

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Air Toxics: EPA regulates air toxics in Indian Country under the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) programs, and works with Tribal, state and local governments to reduce air toxics releases to the environment.

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Climate Change: Tribes and tribal communities are already experiencing impacts from climate change, especially in Alaska. Climate change impacts treaty-reserved rights and resources, tribal and reservation communities, and traditional lifeways.

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Diesel: The West Coast Collaborative is a partnership between leaders from different levels of government, the private sector, and environmental groups committed to reducing diesel emissions along the West Coast.

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Enforcement: EPA is responsible for enforcement of the Clean Air Act in Indian country.

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Emissions Inventory: We identify air pollution sources and the type and amount of pollution emitted by each source to help EPA target inspections, outreach and compliance assistance, compliance determinations or additional FARR rule revisions.

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Federal Air Rules for Indian Reservations (FARR): Federal air rules that apply to 39 Indian Reservations in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

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Grants: Funding is available to support activities by Tribes to assess and manage air quality on reservations. Federally-recognized Tribes and Tribal consortia are eligible for EPA financial support to carry out air quality projects and programs.

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Indoor air: Indoor air quality is a major area of concern for many Tribes, especially asthma triggers and tobacco smoke. EPA provides hotlines, publications, outreach, grant funding, and training to improve the quality of air within Tribal homes, schools, and offices.

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Monitoring: There are approximately 15 monitoring sites in Indian country in Region 10 with PM2.5 continuous monitors (of which 10 currently report real-time data that is used for calling burn bans under the FARR). There is also one site with continuous NOx and SO2 monitors and an ozone FRM monitor, and another site with an IMPROVE monitor. Our goal is to increase Tribal involvement in operating the monitors and in reporting and using the data.

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Northwest Tribal Healthy Homes Work Group: The NW Tribal Healthy Homes Working Group is a tribally-led forum for sharing and building tribal IAQ programs and is open to all tribes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

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Outreach: Education and outreach is an important part of helping Tribal communities understand the health effects of air pollution and requirements for protecting air quality in Indian country.

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Permits: For sources in Indian country, EPA is the permitting authority for Title V permits, non-Title V permits under the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR), and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits. EPA communicates and consults with Tribes, as appropriate, on permit actions located in Indian country or that may affect Indian country.

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State Implementation Plans (SIPs) & Air Quality Planning: EPA communicates and consults with Tribes, as appropriate, on State Implementation Plan (SIP) actions that may affect Tribes, such as setting National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) standards, designations, regional haze SIP approvals, national rulemakings, specific SIP approvals, etc.

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Tribal Program Support: Our goal is to build and maintain the capacity of Tribes to manage their own air quality through training and education, technical assistance, improved communication, delegation of Federal programs, support for eligibility determinations for Tribes to receive Treatment-as-a-State (TAS), and support for Tribes as they develop Tribal rules and voluntary programs to address air pollution impacting their communities.

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Tribes in Alaska: There are unique factors that impact and challenge Alaska Tribes' efforts to assess and reduce risks from air pollution.

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Smoke management: Agricultural, forestry, and open burning are significant sources of air pollution in Region 10. Smoke intrusion into populated areas may lead to adverse health impacts, and smoke can also impair visibility in National Parks and wilderness areas. We work in partnership with Tribes, states, and other interested agencies and stakeholders to discuss how these types of burning are managed, help identify areas where improvements are needed, and help make program improvements.

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Treatment in the Same Manner as a State (TAS): This is the process for tribes to become eligible under sections of the Clean Air Act for Treatment in the Same Manner as a State (often referred to as "TAS" or an "Eligibility Determination") was established under the Tribal Authority Rule 40 CFR, Part 49. In summary, "the regulations in this part identify those provisions of the Clean Air Act (Act) for which Indian tribes are or may be treated in the same manner as States. In general, these regulations authorize eligible tribes to have the same rights and responsibilities as States under the Clean Air Act and authorize EPA approval of tribal air quality programs meeting the applicable minimum requirements of the Act."

For a current listing of Region 10 tribes who have established eligibility to be treated in the same manner as States to one or more sections of the Clean Air Act, go to the Tribal Air TAS Homepage.

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Tribal Implementation Plans (TIPs): A Tribal Implementation Plan (TIP) is a set of regulatory programs Tribes can develop and adopt to help attain and/or maintain national air quality standards for common air pollutants. A TIP may be one part of a broader Tribal air quality management program that may also include programs to enforce federal limitations on other pollutants, monitor air quality, inventory emissions, issue stationary source operating permits, and address indoor air pollution. There are currently no approved TIPs in Region 10 (there are two approved TIPs nationally). We are currently working with the Swinomish Tribe as they develop a TIP for open burning. Over the next five years, we expect to work with one or two additional Tribes to begin to work on TIPs.

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Woodstoves: Residential woodsmoke is an important air quality concern. EPA has supported demonstration woodstove changeout projects on the Nez Perce, Makah, and Swinomish Reservations.

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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/TRIBAL.NSF/Programs/tribalairprojects

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