1This map is intended to provide a general understanding of the location of Indian country, but is not intended as a legal representation. OW recognizes that the programs and activities administered by the National Indian Program provide the foundation for building strong tribal environmental programs, including water protection programs. The specific performance measures outlined in this document are designed for building and implementing water programs in Indian country. Currently, EPA retains authority for directly implementing most existing federal water programs in Indian country.
However, in addition to EPA, many other federal agencies, with a variety of statutory and funding authorities, have infrastructure development and service responsibilities in Indian country and elsewhere throughout the United States. Approximately 560,000 people get their tap water from the 980 public water systems in Indian country.
Direct Implementation: OGWDW and the regional offices will continue to support DI by the EPA regional offices of the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program in Indian country or to assist in building tribal capacity for implementing this program by providing grant funding, technical assistance and training, and informational publications to interested tribes. EPA records indicate that 116 tribes have received Section 106 Clean Water Act grant funding 10 to engage in water quality monitoring activities.
As of December 2003, approximately 85 tribes had EPA approved non-point source assessments and management plans, and 23 tribes had water quality standards effective under the Clean Water Act, but no tribes were authorized to implement National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting.12 EPA is committed to working with tribes to help them identify water quality issues, to develop and implement programs to address areas of concern, and to promote improved surface water environments in Indian country. Examine current regional performance of NPDES permitting in Indian country: Currently, no tribes have NPDES permitting authority.
Direct Implementation: OST will continue to support use of direct implementation tribal cooperative agreements (DITCAs) and other mechanisms to assist in the development of water quality standards that protect human health and the environment in Indian country.
Watershed-Based Planning: By 2008, each Indian tribe with a land base of between 100 and 1,000 square miles (64,000 to 640,000 acres) will have developed and begun to implement at least one watershed-based plan. Mercury is the most commonly cited contaminant in fish consumption advisories across the country.
Lifting of Fish Advisories: EPA has assessed the degree to which these emission reductions will alleviate the fish mercury contamination problem in the United States, including in Indian country, and estimates that 3 percent of all waters with mercury fish advisories will see those advisories lifted or made less stringent by calendar year 2008. This document outlines an ambitious plan for the protection of water quality in Indian country. Cover of the 1998 Time Traveler Maps first edition of Tony Hillerman's Indian Country Map & Guide. Again, it must be emphasized that these targets and strategies are intended to apply to the entire country, and are not specific to individual population groups or to particular geographic areas.
Attainment of this goal worldwide, including in Indian country, requires close, ongoing coordination among many federal agencies. Therefore, EPA is facilitating a collaborative interagency effort to develop a coordinated federal solution to the authorities issue, and provide the infrastructure development that will be needed to meet this Millennium Development Goal in Indian country. The training utilizes the Working Effectively with Tribal Governments training materials developed by the National Indian Program in AIEO. The Sanitation Facilities Construction Program of the Indian Health Service, Public Law 86-121 Annual Report for 2001. It also identifies key water program activities that EPA believes are particularly important to Indian country and which the Agency intends to support during the next several years. In addition, EPA regional offices continue to receive funds to directly implement UIC programs for all classes (I, II, III, IV, and V) of injection wells in Indian country as part of their regular, annual budget allotment. In Indian country, wetlands are often critical to the life cycles of plants and animals that are central to the cultural and spiritual practices of tribal communities.


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The Office of Water is firmly committed to enhancing its partnerships with tribes and looks forward to a continuing collaborative effort to address issues related to protection of water resources in Indian country.
3 Although this Plan uses the term "Indian country," EPA recognizes that the scope of activities may differ among water programs because of statutory requirements. EPA lacks the comprehensive statutory and funding authorities that are necessary to provide all of the infrastructure that will be required to meet the Millenium Development Goal in Indian country. By 2008, 95 percent of the population served by community water systems in Indian country will receive drinking water that meets all applicable, health-based drinking water standards. Sanitary Surveys: OGWDW will continue to support ongoing efforts by EPA regional offices to conduct sanitary surveys in Indian country.
Support for NPDES Permitting in Indian country: In FY 2005, OWM intends to give EPA regional offices additional funding to support the issuance of NPDES permits in Indian country.
In 2000, tribes actively participated with OWOW to develop an assessment methodology for watersheds in Indian country.
Funding Through the Five Star Restoration Grant Program: EPA works in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Association of Counties, the Wildlife Habitat Council, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration on the Five Star Restoration Program. EPA anticipates the continuation of its discussions with tribes, and the further development and refinement of water protection goals and related activities for Indian country. The first edition of Tony Hillerman's Indian Country Map & Guide was released by Time Traveler Maps in 1998. The National Water Program considers these elements to be basic building blocks that provide a strong foundation for efforts to protect human health and aquatic ecosystems in Indian country. Increased participation will help foster better wetland protection in Indian country by encouraging a tribe-to-tribe exchange of experiences and by providing opportunities for tribes to share expertise on what does and does not work.
The 1984 Indian Policy "recognizes tribal governments as the primary parties for setting standards, making environmental policy decisions, and managing [environmental] programs.
The National Water Program believes that comprehensive monitoring, which provides a basis for identifying the current water quality conditions, determining the nature of pollutants, and establishing priorities for water quality protection, is essential to the protection of water resources in Indian country. Additional actions and approaches toward attainment of these goals may be developed by EPA regions or individual tribes. Protecting Public Health and Water Resources in Indian County: Water Program Status as of June 30, 2003. PURPOSE: This National Water Program Tribal Plan1 is designed to create partnerships that protect human health and aquatic ecosystems in Indian country by supporting the development and implementation of clean water and safe drinking water programs. Congress has delegated authority to EPA to ensure that environmental programs designed to protect human health and the environment are carried out throughout the United States, including in Indian country. Drinking Water Revolving Fund Set-Aside: OGWDW and the EPA regional offices will continue to work together to support the funding of public drinking water systems in Indian country through set-aside funds from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program. UIC Grants: A total of $997,000 in grant funds will be provided to the regions annually to support direct implementation by EPA of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) grant program in Indian country. Outreach and Consultation: OST will continue outreach and consultation with tribes to discuss approaches for expanding water quality standards coverage in Indian country, including the possible promulgation of federal standards for certain waters in Indian country.


Detail of the 1998 Time Traveler Maps first edition of Tony Hillerman's Indian Country Map & Guide. OW invited tribal comment at national and regional meetings throughout the country, as well as on several conference calls. These training programs are meant to ensure that EPA employees have the necessary sensitivity, knowledge, and understanding of Indian affairs to facilitate communication between the Agency and tribal representatives. They describe national activities that the Agency believes are most likely to result in public and environmental health improvements in Indian country by 2008. In fiscal years 2003 and 2004, more than $2.5 million was awarded for watershed management in Indian country.
These DI priorities will be established in TEAs, or in similar agreements with individual tribes, as was mentioned above. The information provided by the analysis will enable OWM to develop measures to promote NPDES permit issuance in Indian country. The National Indian Program, which is housed in the American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO), within OW, specifically supports the environmental protection needs of tribes.
No matter what the method, the ultimate intent is to ensure that Indian country is afforded the same water quality protections as are provided to populations in other parts of the United States. Our tribal partners across the country were vital participants in the development of this OW Tribal Plan. They indicate the types of outcomes that are expected as a result of Agency efforts to promote human health and water quality for tribes.
Participants were provided with opportunities for peer-to-peer informational exchanges with watershed management organizations across the country. OW also actively supports cross-cutting EPA tribal initiatives such as the Indian Program Policy Council (IPPC), a high-level Agency group co-chaired by the Deputy Assistant Administrator for OW and the Deputy Regional Administrator for the lead region for the National Indian Program. Within several of the sub-objectives contained in the EPA Strategic Plan, specific, key targets for Indian country have been identified. It summarizes the roles and responsibilities of the various offices within OW, including the National Indian Program (which includes the American Indian Environmental Office), and the National Water Program (which includes the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, the Office of Science and Technology, the Office of Wastewater Management, and the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds).
Through tribal environmental agreements (TEAs) or other similar agreements, the National Water Program and each interested tribe will commit to implementing specific individual water program activities that, together, will comprise a complete tribal water quality and drinking water protection effort.
4 This first strategic target reflects support, by EPA and the National Water Program, of global target language that was adopted by participant countries at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002. The document was designed to set program-specific performance measures to meet the goal of clean water in Indian country. This document is intended to further a common understanding, by federal, state, and tribal environmental managers, of the nature and importance of effective water programs to the environmental health and protection of Indian country.
For example, water program grants authorized under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act may be awarded only to tribes on reservations, whereas EPA water permitting activities may include other areas of Indian country, such as Indian allotments and dependent Indian communities.



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