Environmental Justice and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Thursday, August 26, 2021, 11:30am – 1:30pm PT, 2:30pm – 4:00pm ET
This webinar will discuss effective methods for considering environmental justice (EJ) in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews. The webinar will highlight content from the Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews report of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (now the EJ Interagency Council). This webinar builds upon the NEPA and Tribes as Cooperating Agencies webinar held on July 21, 2021. This webinar is part of the U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Webinar Series for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples – to build the capacity of tribal governments, indigenous peoples and other environmental justice practitioners, and discuss priority environmental justice issues of interest to tribes and indigenous peoples.
NEW! Call For Tribal Participants to Help Revise EPA QAPP and QMP Requirements/Guidance Documents
EPA is seeking Tribal participation (particularly tribal scientists and environmental staff with experience in writing or updating QMPs and/or QAPPs for their EPA grants) in revising three of the Agency’s most used and downloaded Quality Assurance (QA) documents:
- EPA QA/R-2, EPA Requirements for Quality Management Plans (March 2001)
- EPA QA/R-5, EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans (March 2001)
- EPA QA/G-5, Guidance for Quality Assurance Project Plans (December 2002)
There are a variety of ways tribes can participate:
- Take part in listening sessions
- Attend document revision webinars on QA topics of interest
- Review and Comment on the draft QMP and QAPP Standards during pre-clearance review
- Contact their Regional QA Manager here
- Provide feedback in implementing revised QA documents.
Please see the Project Notice for more details. For more information, please feel free to contact Linda Himmelbauer, Directives Project Lead, or Katherine Chalfant, Acting, Enterprise Quality Management Division (EQMD) Director.
Fourth National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop, Virtual Event
October 4 – 8, 2021 | Register Here
The 4th National Cohesive Strategy Workshop will center on this theme and focus sharply on understanding, co-managing, transferring, and accepting risk at federal, state, Tribal and local stakeholder levels to prioritize and invest in decisions, projects and other efforts that result in widespread reduction in risk across landscapes, and communities, the public and firefighters collectively.
Since the inception of The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, we have learned that there are multiple “hard truths” of living with fire that must be accepted in order to make meaningful progress towards the three national goals of Resilient Landscapes, Fire Adapted Communities and a Safe, Effective, Risk-Based Wildfire Response.
EPA’s air quality training program is released three new training materials! These materials are foundational in level, and are being offered to tribal, state, and local air agencies in an e-learning format through our learning management system (LMS).
The materials include:
- A course that explains the purpose of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) within the air quality management process.
- A module that explains each of the six criteria pollutants under the Clean Air Act. This module represents “micro-learning”— a short, focused bit of training on a particular topic.
- A module that explains what air toxics are. Similar to the criteria pollutants module, this module represents “micro-learning.”
To access the course and modules on the LMS (https://epaapti.csod.com), please register (if you haven’t already!), then log in and refer to the “What’s New” section on the home page.
NTAA Upcoming Calls
Contact Andy.Bessler@nau.edu if you have any questions about any call! *Registration instructions* When you register for the GoToWebinar, please remember to include your Tribe, Region, or Organization in parenthesis after your last name. This allows you to see everyone on the call and prevents us from conducting a roll-call, ultimately saving everyone’s time.
|EPA Policy Call: Call in to hear updates from EPA on policies, actions, and tools relevant to Indian Country and Air Quality. Attend by clicking here.||Thursday, August 26, 2pm ET|
|Mobile Sources Work Group: This monthly work group addresses all mobile source pollution issues. Attend by clicking here.||Thursday, September 9, 2pm ET
|Indoor Air Quality Work Group: Join this work group every other month to help support IAQ work throughout Indian Country. Attend by clicking here.||Thursday, October 21, 2pm ET
|Wood Smoke Work Group: Join this work group every other month to address wood smoke issues in Indian Country. Attend by clicking here.||Thursday, September 23, 2pm ET|
The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professional (ITEP)
Click here for ITEP’s new Tribal Environmental Management and Planning Online Courses. Sign up for a self-paced course hosted by ITEP’s Waste and Response and Tribal Air Quality programs. New courses have been added, so check it out!
ITEP’s American Indian Air Quality Training Program (AIAQTP) hosts the Building Performance: Improving IAQ in Cold Climates, Residential Building Science Review, Radon Fundamentals, Quality Assurance Fundamental, Writing a Quality Assurance Project Plan, Emissions Inventory Fundamentals, and Emissions Inventory Advanced.
Looking for more information check out the Tribal Air Quality Media Space Channel. Recent webinars include an Introduction to Air Quality Programs, Emissions Inventories, Remote Professional Assistance, and Woodstoves in Indian Country. Older classics include a series on Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke, Tribal Air Program and Grants, Data Management, and the Clean Air Act.
ITEP’s Tribes and Climate Change Calendar includes conferences, trainings, webinars, and other events related to tribes and climate change.
EPA is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the launch of its first climate partnership program, Green Lights. Learn more about the legacy and impacts of climate partnership programs at EPA by clicking here.
US EPA Announces Upcoming Climate and Energy Webinars for State, Local, and Tribal Governments
The US EPA announces there will be 25 upcoming webinars on climate and energy topics offered by federal agencies and others. All webinars are free of charge, but space may be limited or require registration in advance. The webinars begin August 2nd – 26th. For more information subscribe to the US EPA’s State and Local Energy Newsletter.
ITEP’s Climate Change Adaptation Training Courses registration is online! Learn more about the courses and register here.
NEW! EPA Methane Detection Technology Workshop
August 23 and 24, 2021
EPA will hold a virtual public workshop to hear perspectives on innovative technologies that could be used to detect methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. The workshop will focus on methane-sensing technologies that are not currently approved for use in EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry and how those technologies could be applied in the oil and gas sector. EPA’s state, local, and tribal regulatory partners, along with members of the public, are encouraged to attend the workshop. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions for the panelists.
In addition, attendees will be able to visit a virtual “virtual exhibit hall” to see presentations from technology vendors on their innovative technologies, with a focus on technology capability, applicability and data quality. Workshop Agenda
Didn’t register to attend the workshop? You may watch it here:
EPA is in the process of conducting a residual risk and technology review of the 2002 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Major Source Primary Copper Smelting and a technology review of the 2007 Primary Copper Smelting Area Sources NESHAP
After EPA publishes the rules in the Federal Register, EPA plans to accept comment on these proposals for at least 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. Interested parties can download additional information and a copy of the proposed rules (when they are officially issued by EPA) from EPA’s website and this website. The proposed rules and other background information will also be available either electronically here, EPA’s electronic public docket and comment system. Materials for the proposed actions can be accessed using Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2020-0430. For further technical information about the rule, contact Tonisha Dawson, EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, at (919) 541-1454 or email@example.com.
The recent additions to OTAQ’s website in August 2021. You can access these additions as well as new press releases and Federal Register notices related to OTAQ on our website.
- August 5, 2021: EPA proposes to revise the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for light-duty vehicles for 2023 and later model years to make the standards more stringent.
- August 5, 2021: EPA announces plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other harmful air pollutants from heavy-duty trucks through a series of rulemakings over the next three years.
The recent additions to OTAQ’s website are listed here. You can access these additions as well as new press releases and Federal Register notices related to OTAQ on our website.
Schools as Community Cleaner Air and Cooling Centers: An American Rescue Plan Supplemental Funding Project by the U.S EPA
Request for Letters of Interest
U.S. EPA’s Office of Community Revitalization received American Rescue Plan funding to develop and implement local strategies for using available COVID-recovery dollars to also create cleaner air and neighborhood cooling refuges for vulnerable communities. Funding will support direct technical assistance that pulls together state school facilities agencies, state emergency response agencies, school districts and community-based organizations to analyze gaps where populations that are more vulnerable to poor air quality and heat events lack access to community shelters.
The letter must be signed by an elected official or other representative of the tribe, state, county, or city, which might include one or more elected officials, an agency decision maker, or a nonprofit leader. This signature represents support and commitment to this program and assistance. The letter of interest must be submitted in an attachment (Microsoft Word or PDF file) by email to Abby Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than September 30, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. If you have questions about this request for letters of interest, please contact Abby Hall at email@example.com or 202-631-5915.
NEW! U.S. Department of Education Encourages Use of American Rescue Plan Funds to Improve Ventilation and IAQ in Schools
Indoor air quality is critical to reopening schools safely and keeping them open. The U.S. Department of Education has released new guidance encouraging the use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to improve ventilation systems and make other indoor air quality improvements in schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and tackle longstanding school ventilation improvement needs. The new Department of Education guidance highlights EPA resources to support investments in improved ventilation and indoor air quality. Use the following resources from EPA to supplement the information in the guidance:
- Indoor Air and Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visit this page for the latest guidance on best indoor air practices to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Ventilation and Coronavirus (COVID-19): Ventilation is an important approach to lowering concentrations of indoor air pollutants, including viruses. Increase the ventilation in your school with outdoor air when possible.
- Air Cleaners, HVAC filters, and Coronavirus (COVID-19): Air cleaners and HVAC filters can help to reduce viruses and pollutants in the air. Consider upgrading the HVAC filters in your system and using safe, effective portable air cleaners to supplement HVAC filtration. Note: Do not use air cleaners that intentionally generate ozone in occupied spaces.
- Implementing a Layered Approach to Address COVID-19 in Public Indoor Spaces: A layered risk reduction approach is best to limit airborne transmission of COVID-19 – learn how to combine increased ventilation and filtration with other CDC recommendations, such as wearing masks and social distancing.
Wildfire Smoke and Indoor Air Quality
This summer, wildfires have spread across the U.S. creating devastation and dangerous smoke events affecting millions of American lives. If you are in need of immediate wildfire guidance, see EPA’s wildfire webpage for more resources. Smoke from wildfires can adversely affect indoor air quality and put people’s health at risk from exposure to particulate matter and other pollutants. Read on to learn more about:
- How Indoor airPLUS Homes Protect Against the Harmful Effects of Wildfire Smoke
- Reduce Exposure to Wildfire Smoke Inside the Home
- Additional Resources
How Indoor airPLUS Homes Help Reduce the Occurrence of Asthma Triggers in the Home
Here are ways an Indoor airPLUS home can help reduce asthma triggers in the home.
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