U.S. EPA General Assistance Program-GAPThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) is responsible for the administration of various programs that provide for a portion of public health, welfare and the environment on all lands of the United States. The environmental statutes state, the EPA has established the national system for pollution prevention, abatement and the Agency has established regulatory procedures for standards setting, permitting, information gathering in inspections, and enforcement for facilities and operations that may impact the quality of the environment Indian policy, Presidential memorandum and Executive Orders, EPA works with Tribal governments on government basis and recognizes Tribes as the primary parties for making environment policy decisions our program responsibilities affecting Indian reservations, their environments, and the health and welfare reservation populous. The EPA will assist Tribes in developing environmental protection program, Assistance program Act of 1992, as amended (42 U.S.C.).
You are probably asking yourself what does this mean. It means that the government recognizes tribal governments and agrees to work with them in regards to environmental issues and concerns of the tribes as they pertain to the tribes. Further, it means that the US EPA will also provide assistance to tribes in order to do so. By assistance it means money, actual manpower, or resources to do this. That’s a lot said. But as a tribe we need all the help we can get in protecting, conserve and preserving our environment and natural resources.
The Otoe-Missouria Environmental Department utilizes the General Assistance program to help the Otoe-Missouria Tribe protect, conserve and preserve the environment and natural resources within our tribal lands. We continue to improve our department, and the abilities of our staff members (Environmental Coordinator, Environmental Technician, Water Quality Technician) and the general capacity of the department to complete this main goal. Protecting the Environment is everyone’s job but with the OMED in place it gives tribal members someone to turn to when they need assistance. Like the motto says, “Give a Hoot, don’t Pollute.”