ETD Inc. works with clients to ensure projects maintain an appropriate level of environmental compliance. Since tribes have retained their sovereignty for environmental protection on land within their jurisdiction, activities on tribal land often require the approval of both the tribal government as well as the relevant federal agency.
In response to a growing concern for the environment, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) was passed and has become the national charter for environmental protection. It sets forth a process for analyzing and disclosing significant impacts of a proposed action. Because the majority of activities in Indian Country include Federal funding or approval, nearly all developments require some aspect of the NEPA process.
NEPA regulations are binding on all federal agencies (40 CFR Part 1500). Each agency has supplemental regulations and internal guidelines for implementing NEPA. Examples of federal actions that trigger NEPA are (1) the Bureau of Indian Affairs' approval of mineral leases and (2) the Department of Housing and Urban Development's approval of housing funds.
NEPA requires all relevant federal and tribal laws and regulations to be integrated into the NEPA review process. Examples of such environmental laws include:
- National Historic Preservation Act [16 U.S.C. §-470 et seq.]
- Floodplain Management [24 CFR 55, Executive Order 11988]
- Clean Water Act [33 U.S.C. § 1251et seq.]
- Endangered Species Act [16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.]
- Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq. and 40 CFR parts 6, 51, 61, & 93]
- Wild and Scenic Rivers [36 CFR 297]
- Sole Source Aquifers [40 CFR 149]
- Farmland Protection [7 CFR 658]
- Environmental Justice [Executive Order 12898]