WEEKLY UPDATES2020-06-17T22:20:19+00:00

TOP STORIES/HEADLINES: Week of July 19 – 23, 2021


On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis held a hearing titled “Advancing Environmental Justice Through Climate Action.” The hearing reviewed opportunities to advance environmental justice through climate action, including targeting infrastructure investments to environmental justice communities, understanding the impact of extreme heat on low-income workers and students, and supporting tribal investments in clean energy and climate resilience. Nikki Cooley, Co-Manager of the ITEP Tribes and Climate Change Program, gave testimony during the call, representing herself as a Diné woman and a climate change researcher. Click here to see the recording!

Please join NTAA in welcoming Maxine Paul of the Pueblo of Santa Ana as the latest NTAA Executive Committee member representing Region 6 Tribes! Maxine joins current R6 primary representative Craig Kreman of the Quapaw Nation as the alternate representative recently selected by the Region 6 RTOC. Visit NTAA’s website to learn more about Maxine and the rest of the NTAA Executive Committee. Congratulations to Maxine for joining the NTAA team!

Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes

AP – Study: Wildfire smoke may add to COVID-19 risk

Indian Country Today – Monster wildfire tests years of forest management efforts

CNN – The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is so large, it’s creating its own weather

The Hill – White House details environmental benefits plan for disadvantaged communities

Indianz.com – ‘We are home now’ – Lakota youth return home after more than a century away at Indian boarding schools

Indianz.com – Morongo Band makes history with green energy project

High Country News – The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe calls on Seattle to remove the Gorge Dam

EPA – EPA, Forest Service Release Improved Tools to Equip the Public with Information and Resources on Wildfire Smoke

Greenwire – Inside the campaign to be an EPA regional administrator

LA Times – Vaccine ‘obstinance’ is fueling Delta variant’s spread across America

E&E – EPA faces environmental justice test with coal ash

High Country News – A broken system: The number of Indigenous people who died from coronavirus may never be known

Alaska Public Media – Treasury changes ARPA rules, grants all tribes $1 million

National Association of Clean Air Agencies – Washington Update

Climate Change/Energy

The Hill – CO2 emissions on track for record in 2023, energy agency says

NY Times – ‘It Is All Connected’: Extreme Weather in the Age of Climate Change

Politico – Could the voting rights fight hinder climate and energy policies?

The Washington Post – ‘Hawkpocalypse’: Baby birds of prey have leaped from their nests to escape West’s extreme heat

The Guardian – Flagstaff declares state of emergency as Arizona hit by devastating floods

Axios – Democrats unveil carbon border tax plan

NY Times – How the Moon ‘Wobble’ Affects Rising Tides

CNN – Athletes could face the warmest Olympic Games in decades

NY Times – Deadly Flooding ‘Shows the Urgency,’ of Climate Change, Official Says

Yale Climate Connections – Environmentalist drag queen says the outdoors belongs to everyone

The Guardian – How data could save Earth from climate change

Toxics/Mobile Sources

The NM Political Report – Report documents PFAS use in fracking in New Mexico

Indian Country Today – PolyMet air permit case sent back to agency

The Guardian – ‘Lightbulb moment’: the battery technology invented in a Brisbane garage that is going global 

Utility Dive – California approves expedited pathway for near-term utility EV investments, despite cost concerns

Bloomberg – Chevron’s carbon capture struggle shows big oil’s climate hurdle

Cronkite News – Transitioning from coal is the goal – how to get there is the question

High Country News – Mining for lithium, at a cost to Indigenous religions

Indoor Air Quality

Facility Executive – Four Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality In K-12 Schools

Fox 31 News – How to choose an air purifier for wildfire smoke

Be sure to subscribe to EPA’s IAQ Bulletins


UPCOMING CALLS/EVENTS/NOTICES: Week of July 19 – 23, 2021


Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes 

NEW! 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. During a wildfire, smoke can make the outdoor air unhealthy to breathe, and local officials may advise you to stay indoors during a smoke event. However, some of the smoke from outdoors can enter the home and reduce indoor air quality. Exposure to fine particles, a major component of wildfire smoke, can cause respiratory symptoms and aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases.

Read on to learn more about:

GAP Guidance Evaluation Phase 2 Revisions and Allocation: Tribal Participation Opportunity!

EPA is revising the 2013 Guidance on the Award and Management of General

Assistance Agreements for Tribes and Tribal Consortia. The Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, or GAP, is the largest tribal capacity building program in EPA. The GAP Guidance is for tribes at all levels of capacity building. All perspectives from beginning to advanced stages of tribal capacity development are encouraged on the revision workgroups. Click here to read more!

In addition to revising the 2013 GAP Guidance, EPA will initiate consultation with tribes on how EPA allocates Congressionally appropriated GAP funds to regions annually. Letters will be sent to Tribal Leaders notifying the start of consultation beginning July 19, 2021. More information on EPA’s consultation on the national GAP allocation will be available online at https://tcots.epa.gov.

Addressing Air Quality in Tribal Communities (for Beginners)

August 10-12; 9am – 2pm PDT, 12pm – 5pm EDT | Course capped at 12 participants | Register Here

Deadline: The application is due on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

Learning objective:

At the end of the event, participants will articulate their community’s main ambient (outdoor) air quality concerns and identify the resources (e.g., documents, contacts, training) needed to begin addressing air quality issues in their community.

Who should participate: This workshop is for environmental professionals who are just beginning to address ambient air quality issues in tribal communities. No prior knowledge or background in air quality is needed.

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.

Wood Smoke Work Group: Join this work group every other month to address wood smoke issues in Indian Country. Attend by clicking here. Thursday, July 22, 1pm ET
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, July 29, 2pm ET
Mobile Sources Work Group: This monthly work group addresses all mobile source pollution issues. Attend by clicking here. Thursday, August 5, 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, August 19, 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.

AIAQTP Schedule and Registration 

Recorded Webinars

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.

Climate Change / Energy

EPA’s Climate Change Indicators in the United States: EPA’s newly updated website, Climate Change Indicators in the United States, looks at changes to our health and the environment related to the causes and effects of climate change. 

With new science, additional indicators, and more years of data, many of these signs of climate change have become even more evident, stronger, and extreme. Explore the website. You are invited to participate in two upcoming webinars on the resource:

  • June 24 will focus on Climate and Heat: Trends, Health Impacts and Risk. This one-hour webinar will feature climate-related temperature trends particularly related to extreme heat and urban heat, human health effects, social vulnerability, and risks (happening now and looking into the future). Visit EPA’s State, Local, and Tribal Webinar Series webpage.

 ITEP’s Climate Change Adaptation Training Courses registration is online! Learn more about the courses and register here.

Toxics/Mobile Sources

EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act’s Tribal Grants for FY21

Request for Applications now open! More information can be found on this flyer and on this website. EPA’s 2021 Tribal and Insular Area grant program is now open. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $5 million in DERA funding under this announcement. A total of $4.5 million will be made available to tribal governments (or intertribal consortia) and Alaska Native villages, and $500,000 will be made available to insular area governments. EPA anticipates awarding five to ten cooperative agreements to tribal governments (or intertribal consortia) and Alaska Native villages and two to four cooperative agreements to insular area governments. Click here for more information.

The U.S. 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 dawson.tonisha@epa.gov.

Green Transportation Summit & Expo

August 16-18, 2021 Tacoma, Washington | Registration

The 10th annual Green Transportation Summit & Expo (GTSE) is the region’s premier clean transportation convening event. There has not been a time when clean transportation has had as much potential. With this year’s theme of Reflecting + Refocusing on a Resilient Future, we are giving particular attention to recent events affecting our communities and livelihood. We will be creating space to ensure these critical topics are addressed. All Tribes can get a 20% discount, contact Dara.Marks-Marino@nau.edu for the code!

The recent additions to OTAQ’s website in June 2021. You can access these additions as well as new press releases and Federal Register notices related to OTAQ on our website.

 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.

Indoor Air Quality

NEW! National Radon Action Month: Best Practices for State and Tribal Radon Programs

 Thursday, July 22; 2-3pm EST | Register Here

Reducing exposure to radon is an important component in preventing lung cancer. Radon, a radioactive gas, is one of the most hazardous indoor pollutants. This naturally occurring gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, responsible for more than 21,000 annual deaths. According to the US EPA, radon concentrations above its action level are present in 1 of 15 buildings in the United States. During this webinar, subject matter experts will share guidance, lessons learned, and best practices for increasing radon education and outreach through National Radon Action Month (NRAM) activities. Register today to reserve your seat!

Don’t forget to save the dates for the other upcoming radon webinars in the radon webinar series.

 NEW! Summer is the perfect time to brush up on ventilation practices for schools!

Are you prepared for schools to reopen this fall? Take some time to view these webinars available on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website, which focus on virus mitigation strategies, including ventilation, filtration and supplemental air purification.

·       Let’s Clear the Air: Using Ventilation Practices to Promote Healthy IAQ in Schools – recorded July 30, 2020

·       Ventilation and Virus Mitigation in Schools: Creating a Game Plan to Reduce COVID-19 Risk and Make Lasting Improvements to IAQ – recorded on February 25, 2021

 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.

Be sure to subscribe to CodeTalk, HUD’s Office of Native American Programs newsletter, for webinars and opportunities!




Now Hiring!

Upper Sioux Environmental Specialist

Under direct supervision of the Environmental Director, the Environmental Specialist, will be responsible for carrying out the objectives of the Upper Sioux Community’s Office of the Environment. The Environmental Specialist will conduct environmental surveys and assessments, supervise field activities, monitor condition of Tribal natural resources, work closely with contractors and other governmental agencies to protect Tribal resources and aid other Tribal entities.

See the full job description 

Tribal Program Manager, Energy

The goal of the EDF Energy Program is to bend the curve on greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production and use by 2030, while meeting the world’s energy needs cleanly and equitably. EDF seeks a talented and self-motivated Tribal Program Manager to play a critical role in the development and execution of EDF’s Navajo and Federal methane regulatory campaigns. The Manager will be an on-the-ground player in support of program initiatives and will develop and implement an outreach strategy with the Navajo Nation and tribes impacted by oil and gas pollution across the U.S. with the objective of raising awareness around the environmental and health hazards associated with oil and gas development and providing avenues and tools for engaging tribal communities in political and policy processes to reduce methane waste, air and climate pollution. More info here!

Events Coordinator, Senior

Northern Arizona University, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

We would like to invite you to visit our careers site to complete your application.


  1. Select the link to access our careers site.
  2. Sign In to access your account or if you are not an existing user select the New User link to create one.
  3. Review the job description and select the Apply button to begin your application.

National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) Indigenous Fellow

This position is a 2-year fellowship opportunity for an emerging leader to:

  • Work on existing and/or develop new campaigns at NPCA that hold a personal and/or cultural significance to them and support NPCA’s mission.
  • Support NPCA’s growth and organizational development as a stronger ally with functional understanding of law and sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, and a basic knowledge of Indigenous history and experience.
  • Deepen NPCA’s capacity and awareness to understand and, if appropriate, to engage on intersectional Native American policy issues as it relates to NPS and public lands.

This is a budgeted position. NPCA is committed to diversity among its employees and hiring practices.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply by submitting your resume and cover letter directly online to www.npca.org.

Indigenous Engagement Coordinator Position for the Navigating the New Arctic Community Office

Full Job Posting

This position will focus on supporting Arctic communities by facilitating local/regional NNA research partnerships and interfacing NNA research with Indigenous cultures, knowledge systems, and research needs. This position will work closely with the Office of Research and Community Engagement (ORCE) Director at APU and the NNA-CO team to advance the office’s support of use-inspired convergence research in the Arctic—collaborative research that deeply draws on information and expertise from across disciplines and knowledge systems to solve complex challenges. This position will uphold the Office’s vision and commitment to support the NNA community (researchers, Arctic community partners, Indigenous knowledge holders, decision-makers, etc.) through coordination, enhanced communication, and interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and institutional learning.

Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes

Attention Region 9 Tribes! The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is accepting nominations from the public for the 2020-2021 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards by August 10, 2021. Since 2001, the has annually bestowed the distinguished Haagen-Smit Awards. The awards recognize extraordinary individuals who have made significant contributions toward improving air quality.

The selection criteria include: 1) Major accomplishments; 2) Contributions toward improving air quality and/or climate change, in terms of commitment, leadership, and innovation; 3) At least three letters of recommendation. Visit the CARB website to learn more about the awards program and past recipients. For more information please contact: haagen-smit.awards@arb.ca.gov.

Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces $3 Million Living Languages Grant Program Funding Opportunity

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney announced today that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) is soliciting applications to the Living Languages Grant Program (LLGP). This $3 Million grant program will fund between 15 and 60 grants, ranging from $25,000-$200,000, to federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities to document, preserve and revitalize Native languages and build active speaker capacity. IEED’s solicitation for LLGP funding and details on how to apply can be found in the Federal Register and at Grants.Gov.

EPA is now accepting applications for a total of $9 million in grants to fund about 24 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects to address stormwater runoff pollution from land into water bodies. EPA is also holding an applicant webinar.

  • August 20, 2021– Applications must be submitted via www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time / 10:59 p.m. Central Time. See Section IV of the grants announcements for further submission information.

EPA is requesting applications for projects in three categories; each one has a separate Funding Opportunity Number and will be posted separately on www.grants.gov. Applicants must apply for the specific funding opportunity they are interested in. Learn more about the three categories here.

State agencies, interstate agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations, local governments, institutions of higher learning and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for the GLRI grants in three categories. Individuals, foreign organizations and governments, nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying, and “for-profit” organizations are not eligible to apply for funding under this request for application.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

To view and/or receive ITEP’s American Indian Air Quality Training Program newsletter, Native Voices, click here!

Climate Change/Energy

On-Request Technical Assistance from DOE Office of Indian Energy

Applications Due: Not Applicable

Eligible Entities: tribal governments

The DOE Office of Indian Energy provides federally recognized Indian tribes, including Alaska Native villages, tribal energy resource development organizations, and other organized tribal groups and communities, with technical assistance to advance tribal energy projects at no cost. Technical experts from DOE and its national laboratories, along with other partnering organizations, provide support to assist Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages with energy planning, housing and building energy efficiency, project development, policy and regulation, resilience, and village power.

Join NCAI’s Climate Action email listserv here! 

Sign up for the Alliance for Green Heat’s newsletter!

To view and/or receive ITEP’s Climate Change newsletter, click here!

Toxics/Mobile Sources

 EPA Announces $10 Million Available for States, Tribes, and Territories to Address Environmental Challenges

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of Multipurpose Grant (MPG) funding to support states, Tribes and territories in addressing high-priority environmental issues, including PFAS, environmental justice and climate change. For more information on eligibility, use of funding, process for award, and timelines, please reference the Multipurpose Grant guidance. 

EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act’s Tribal Grants for FY21 Request for Applications are coming soon! More information can be found on this flyer and on this website.

Recent additions to OTAQ’s website in March 2021

You can access these additions as well as new press releases and Federal Register notices related to OTAQ on our website.

Indoor Air Quality

Resource for Healthy Indoor Air Quality

Check out the website https://forhealth.org/ for many resources related to healthy homes and indoor air quality!

The Tribal Healthy Homes Network (THHN) has a webpage dedicated to Funding Opportunities! Additionally, THHN has developed a Funding Guide for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities.

Most Recent Listing: EPA Rules from the Federal Register can be found here.

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PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD: Week of July 12 – 16, 2021


Washington Post – Native Americans are transporting a 5,000-pound totem pole to D.C. from the Pacific Northwest

Jewell James of the Lummi Nation works on a 25-foot totem pole he helped make as head carver for the “House of Tears Carvers.” The pole is making a cross-country trip with a crew of travelers in July from Washington state to D.C. to raise awareness about Native American issues and sacred sites. (Jason Jones/The Natural History Museum)


TOP STORIES/HEADLINES: Week of July 12 – 16, 2021


NPR – Wildfires In The West Are Putting Parched Tribal Lands In Growing Danger

NPR – Senate Budget Has Funds To Ensure Infrastructure Works As The Climate Changes: NPR’s Steve Inskeep talks to EPA Administrator Michael Regan about his agency’s current priorities: including water infrastructure, environmental justice and clean transportation.

Washington Post – Wildfire smoke is clogging skies in the Western U.S., Canada

NY Times – Climate Change Drove Western Heat Wave’s Extreme Records, Analysis Finds

Seattle Times – Crushing heat wave in Pacific Northwest and Canada cooked shellfish alive by the millions

USA Today – Record setting ‘heat dome’ could keep West sizzling all week as wildfires burn

CNBC – The West Coast is suffering from some of the worst air in the world — these apps show how bad it is

Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes

Politico – Democrats unveil $3.5T go-it-alone plan to fulfill Biden’s agenda

NPR – Your Trash Is Emitting Methane In The Landfill. Here’s Why It Matters For The Climate

Indian Country Today – More unmarked graves found in Canada

Navajo-Hopi Observer – Colorado River Indian Tribes become key water player with drought aid to Arizona

The Sun – Fighting wildfires requires even more tribal, local and state coordination

The Black Wall Street Times – Congresswoman Maxine Waters warns Tribes to stop discriminating against Freedmen descendants

The Washington Post – New Virginia state park honors Native American tribes that lived on the land for centuries

The Seattle Times – Historic summit of tribes across Pacific Northwest presses dam removal on Inslee, Biden, Congress

National Association of Clean Air Agencies – Washington Update

Climate Change/Energy

Indian Country Today – Paradigm Shift: Tribe is now an owner of the power grid

The Hill – White House announces new head of climate assessment after ousting Trump-era pick

ABC News – How will the West solve a water crisis if climate change continues to get worse?

The Guardian – Biden’s clean energy plan would cut emissions and save 317,000 lives

The Hill – Energy Dept. seeks to cut cost of energy storage, boost renewables

Marketplace – Benefits of clean energy far outweigh costs, report shows

Indian Country Today – Ongoing threat: Thawing permafrost has damaged Trans-Alaska pipeline

Forbes – Highlights From The BP Statistical Review Of World Energy 2021

Carlsbad Current Argus – How Big Oil keeps a grip on New Mexico – with the help of a major lobbyist

Toxics/Mobile Sources

CNN – Volkswagen and BMW fined $1 billion for running emissions cartel

Global Banking & Finance Review – Exclusive-Shell plans to exit California joint venture with Exxon Mobil -sources

Traffic Technology Today – VIDEO: Will this car – that actually cleans the air – mean an end to inner city pollution?

ABC 11 – More reporting and resources about environmental justice

Market Watch – Just 25 mega cities produce more than half the world’s urban greenhouse gas emissions

The Hill – EPA approved toxic ‘forever’ chemicals for fracking in 2011: report

The Sacramento Bee – As wildfires intensify, California gets a grim reminder about far-reaching toxic smoke

Car and Driver – Volkswagen Reportedly Seeking Co-Investor in Electrify America

Indoor Air Quality

USA Today – The CDC has updated its mask guidelines for schools. Some states will listen, some won’t.

The Hill – EPA bans sale of COVID-19 disinfectant authorized under Trump

Be sure to subscribe to EPA’s IAQ Bulletins

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