NTAA: Policy Response Kits

Policy Response Kits


These Policy Response Kits (PRK) linked below were crafted to alert NTAA Member Tribes and other Tribal Air Offices about important U.S. EPA & Federal Agencies proposed rules and provide tools for Tribes to use in submitting informed comments on U.S. EPA actions. PRK’s include summary pages, official NTAA comments and a Tribal template letter for Tribes to use in submitting their own comments.



The NTAA EC directed staff to craft and release Policy Response Kits on these current U.S. EPA & Federal Agencies actions:


FY 18 Proposed Federal Budget Cuts to Tribal Air Programs
NTAA has prepared a Policy Response Kit for your Tribe to use in commenting to the U.S. EPA on the FY18 proposed budget put forth by President Trump that would severely cut the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) appropriation and other federal grants for Tribes needed to build and sustain their air programs. As put forth in the President’s, “AMERICA FIRST: A BUDGET BLUEPRINT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” the 2018 Budget requests $5.7 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a reduction of $2.6 billion, or 31%, from the 2017 annualized CR level. There is no public comment period but NTAA urges all Tribes to send a clear message to the U.S. EPA about how these proposed budget cuts would impact Tribal air quality work.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) draft Environmental Justice Strategy NTAA has prepared a Policy Response Kit for your Tribe to use in commenting on U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) draft Environmental Justice Strategy.

NTAA urges your Tribe to submit comments to HUD in order to better represent Tribal air quality concerns into the draft EJ Strategy of HUD.



Below are links to previous NTAA Policy Response Kits on U.S. EPA & Federal Agencies actions in which the public comment period is now closed:


FY 2018-2019 EPA's National Program Manager Guidance for the Office of Air and Radiation
Public comments were due into EPA by August 4, 2017. EPA's Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) was seeking public comment on the FY 2018-2019 National Program Manager Guidance. The Draft NPM’s Guidance document is a guide that creates the framework for EPA’s key national programmatic activities for the fiscal years of 2018-2019, based on the President’s Proposed Budget and the “back to basics” agenda set forth by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The first consultations to create this document were conducted prior to the 2016 presidential election, and this document has been developed prior to finalization of EPA’s budget. Once the budget is finalized, there may be changes to the document, based on the actual budget. You can read the entire document here:
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-06/documents/fy18-19-oar-draft-npm-guidance.pdf.

NTAA's PRK includes a fact sheet, a comment letter submitted to EPA by NTAA's Executive Committee and the Tribal Air Monitoring Support Center's Steering Committee as well as a template letter for your Tribe to use in crafting a comment letter for you to submit by August 4th to EPA.

U.S. EPA’s Regulatory Review under Executive Order 13777
NTAA has prepared a Policy Response Kit for your Tribe to use in commenting to the U.S. EPA by May 15, 2017.
The U.S. EPA is seeking comments on regulatory reform based on Presidential EO 13777 signed by President Trump. EO 13777 directs federal agencies like EPA to review the Code of Federal Regulations and identify those regulations that:

California Tribal Gasoline Permits: Gasoline Dispensing Stations (GDF) NTAA is urging Tribes in the state of California to comment on the EPA’s General Air Quality Permit for new and modified minor stationary source gasoline dispensing facilities (GDF) in certain areas of Indian Country. The permit is proposed by EPA to develop a uniform set of requirements based on local air quality conditions that are unique to the State of California. The permit will provide a way to streamline permitting processes under the Federal Indian Minor Source Review (NSR) program. For more information, refer to the CA GDF General Permit Public notice at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0580-0005. Comments are due into EPA Region 9 by January 31st, 2017.

Clean Energy Incentive Program Comments are due to EPA on November 1st, 2016 on EPA's proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). The CEIP was developed as part of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) as a mechanism to encourage early investment in zero-emitting renewable energy generation to help achieve CPP goals. The court-ordered stay of the CPP allows states to continue planning efforts, and the EPA is able to move forward with the CEIP because it is a voluntary program.
 The CEIP will provide incentives, via Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) or allowances, to eligible renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. ERCs and allowances can be purchased by CO2 emitting power plants in order to comply with emissions standards under the CPP.
 Tribes with affected sources (i.e. power plants affected by the CPP) may develop plans and elect to participate in the CEIP. Tribes without affected sources may also participate in the CEIP, however this depends on their state first implementing a State Implementation Plan (SIP) and opting-in to the CEIP.
 NTAA has prepared a 2016 CEIP fact sheet for Tribes and is in the process of developing a Policy Response Kit for Tribes to use for providing comments to EPA by November 1st, 2016.
 In 2015, NTAA’s provided comments to EPA on the Clean Power Plan’s Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). EPA sought early comments as the CEIP is developed as an early incentive for states and Tribes to reduce GHG emissions by developing renewable sources of energy.

Volkswagen Settlement for Tribes on Clean Air Act Violations On June 28, 2016, the United States lodged with the court a settlement with automakers Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., and Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC (collectively “Volkswagen”). The settlement partially resolves allegations that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) by the sale of approximately 500,000 model year 2009 to 2015 motor vehicles containing 2.0 liter diesel engines equipped with “defeat devices” (“CAA 2.0 liter partial settlement”). The allegations were set forth in a complaint filed by the United States on January 4, 2016, on behalf of the EPA, alleging that these vehicles are equipped with defeat devices in the form of computer software designed to cheat on federal emissions tests. The settlement is a partial settlement because it only addresses what Volkswagen must do to address the 2.0 liter cars on the road and the pollution from these vehicles, and does not address other aspects of the United States’ complaint. The major excess pollutant at issue in this case is oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and is a serious health concern.
 On June 7th, 2016 NTAA and the TAMS Center wrote a letter to U.S. EPA making recommendations for the distribution of funds from this settlement to Tribal Air Programs. Click here to view that letter.
 Since Tribes will be eligible for over $50 million as beneficiaries, NTAA has created a fact sheet for Tribes to understand the settlement and is in the process of developing a Policy Response Kit for Tribes to respond to requests for comments and consultation from the U.S. Department of Justice. To view EPA’s information on the settlement, click here.

Regional Haze Rule Revisions On May 4, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) proposed regulatory revisions to the Regional Haze Rule’s visibility protection requirements that states must adhere to when submitting state implementation plans (SIPs) and progress reports for regional haze. Periodic regional haze SIPs are required by the Clean Air Act (CAA) and federal rules in order to provide for reasonable progress towards restoration of natural visibility conditions in national parks, wilderness areas, and other mandatory designated Class I areas. This requirement does not apply to areas that states or Tribes have designated as “non-mandatory” Class I areas.

NTAA has prepared a Policy Response Kit for Tribes to use for submitting comments to EPA by August 10th. The Policy Response Kit includes NTAA comments to EPA submitted on June 22nd, 2016, a template letter for Tribes to use in submitting comments to EPA and a fact sheet Tribal staff and use to inform Tribal leaders about this issue.

Here is a link to a powerpoint presentation made during a 2015 Regional Haze meeting held in March, 2015 with Tribal representatives and EPA officials regarding Tribal involvement in Regional Haze planning.
    Regional Haze Tribal Presentation

EPA’s proposed Exceptional Events Rule Revisions, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Draft Wildfire/Ozone Guidance.
NTAA has created this Policy Response Kit to help your Tribe submit comments to EPA by February 3rd, 2016. On November 10, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed revisions to the 2007 Exceptional Events Rule, and announced the availability for public comment of a draft guidance document, which applies the proposed rule revisions to wildfire events that could influence monitored ozone concentrations.

EPA’s proposed Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS.
NTAA has created this Policy Response Kit to help your Tribe submit comments to EPA by February 1st, 2016. On November 16, 2015 the EPA proposed an update to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) ozone season program by issuing the CSAPR Update Rule. Starting in 2017, this proposal would reduce summertime emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) from power plants in 23 states in the eastern half of the U.S., providing $1.2 billion in health benefits to millions of Americans. The CSAPR Update Rule would reduce air quality impacts of the interstate transport of air pollution on downwind areas’ ability to meet the 2008 ozone standard, and it also responds to the July 2015 remand of certain CSAPR budgets by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This proposal supports states’ obligations to address the problem of air pollution that is transported across state lines and helps address the Agency’s role in backstopping states’ obligations under the Clean Air Act.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan : On Monday, August 3rd, 2015 the U.S. EPA announced the final Clean Power Plan to establish final emission guidelines for states to follow in developing plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs). Here is NTAA’s Policy Response Kit on EPA’s Clean Power Plan:

You can find EPA’s Clean Power Plan Community Page here for more information on the Clean Power Plan here. Stay Tuned for more information from NTAA!

August 18, 2015 - EPA has proposed several measures to cut methane and VOC emissions from the oil and natural gas industry and clarify permitting requirements. NTAA prepared this Policy Response Kit that includes an EPA fact sheet, two NTAA comment letters and two corresponding template letters for your use in submitting comments from your Tribe. EPA’s comment period closed on December 4th, 2015.
A word on EPA’s action to regulate methane emissions from the NTAA Chairman, Bill Thompson -
Native American Tribes and other indigenous peoples are among those most impacted by climate change. As such, NTAA welcomes EPA's proposed measures to mitigate emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from the oil and gas sector. Furthermore, NTAA views the regulation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by the oil and gas sector, as an important and necessary means of protecting t he health of Tribal communities and the American people at large.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Proposed changes to measure human exposure to radiation
Please find the attached NTAA Policy Response Kit for your Tribe’s use in submitting comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) proposed changes to the Linear No-Threshold Model and Standards for Protection against Radiation (Docket ID NRC-2015-0057). Comments were due to NRC by Thursday November 19th, 2015.

The Policy Response Kit contains a NTAA comment letter, a template letter your Tribe can use to edit for submission based upon NTAA’s comment letter. There is also a NRC background fact sheet on the biological effect of radiation exposure.

The NTAA’s Executive Committee produced this Policy Response Kit at the request of several NTAA member Tribes concerned with how the federal government wants to change the way to measure the health impacts from exposure to radiation.

U.S. EPA’s proposed revisions to the Guideline on Air Quality Models and enhancements to the AERMOD Dispersion Modeling System’s Incorporation of Approaches to Address Ozone and Fine Particulate Matter. This is also known as “Appendix W.” On July 14, 2015, the EPA Administrator signed a proposal to revise the Guideline on Air Quality Models. The Guideline provides EPA-recommended models and other techniques, as well as guidance for their use, for predicting ambient concentrations of air pollutants. EPA’s proposed changes would, enhance the formulation and application of the agency’s AERMOD dispersion model, prescribe modeling techniques for secondarily formed fine particle and ozone pollution for single sources and makes various editorial improvements. NTAA submitted comments on October 14th, 2015. Click here for EPA’s information.

EPA’s proposed draft guidance for discussing Tribal Treaty Rights in Tribal Consultations On August 15, 2015, the EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs initiated consultation and coordination with federally recognized tribes (tribes) on how EPA will discuss tribal treaty rights during tribal consultations under the EPA Policy for Consultation and coordination with Indian Tribes. EPA is proposing development of a guidance on when and how EPA would raise questions about treaty rights, and as a guide for discussions when tribes raise treaty rights concerns during tribal consultation under the Consultation Policy. NTAA submitted comments on Sept 30th, 2015. Click here for EPA’s information.

U.S. EPA’s update to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone. On October 1, 2015, EPA strengthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb), based on extensive scientific evidence about ozone’s effects on public health and welfare. NTAA submitted comments (linked above) and NTAA released a white paper written by NTAA PAC member Rich McAllister and explores the implications for Tribes of the final ground-level ozone rule issued by EPA. Read more on EPA’s website.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Also commonly known as, "the Carbon Rule or the 111(d) rule," As part of the Clean Air Act, EPA is authorized to regulate CO2 pollution from existing plants in order to meet the goal of reducing CO2 emissions 30% by 2030. EPA is working with states, tribes, and utilities to create state implementation plans and reduce carbon pollution based upon 4 building blocks, including: 1) Making existing coal plants more efficient, 2) using existing natural gas plants more effectively, 3) increasing renewable energy use and 4) increasing end-use energy efficiency.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)’s Proposed Finding that Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aircraft Cause or Contribute to Air Pollution that may Reasonably Be Anticipated to Endanger Public Health and Welfare, and an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Section 231(a)(2)(A) of the Clean Air Act states that, ‘‘The (EPA) Administrator shall, from time to time, issue proposed emission standards applicable to the emission of any air pollutant from any class or classes of aircraft engines which in [her] judgment causes, or contributes to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.’’
This Proposal explains that in order to issue standards addressing emissions of GHGs from aircraft under section 231, the Administrator must first find that the air pollution being considered may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. The Administrator then must find that emissions of the air pollutant from certain classes of aircraft cause or contribute to that air pollution. This Proposal and the rules to follow that EPA announced in the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking have been found to authorize EPA under the CAA to address greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft to help mitigate climate change. NTAA has created a Policy Response Kit for Tribes to use to submit their own comments. Public comments were due on August 31st, 2015.

The NTAA has submitted comments on the U.S. EPA’s EJ 2020 Action Framework, which is an update to EPA EJ 2014 strategy for advancing environmental justice and is not a proposed rule. Click here to view NTAA comments. The comment period ended on July 14th, 2015. EJ 2020 will build on the foundation established through EPA’s Plan EJ 2014, and expand that work through commitments that will continue through the next five years. Click here for EPA’s overview of EJ 2020.

The NTAA sent a letter to EPA on December 9th, 2014 regarding methane regulation needed in the oil and gas industry. Click here to view the letter. Since then EPA has released this statement regarding future actions on regulating methane in the oil and gas industry.

The NTAA has developed comments on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s draft Tribal Policy: Click here to view NTAA comments In addition to the NRC PowerPoint presentation provided on a recent NTAA/EPA Air Policy Update call, here is the link providing the map of Tribal Reservations and Trust Land within a 50-mile radius of a Nuclear Power Plant can be found on page 25 of the NRC Tribal Protocol Manual. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is a Federal Agency under the Department of Energy that regulates nuclear reactors, nuclear materials, nuclear waste and nuclear security. This proposed Tribal Policy will outline how NRC’s will consult with Tribes.

U.S. EPA's proposed National Program Manager's Guidance Document. EPA uses the National Program Manager (NPM) Guidances to focus on EPA's environmental program delivery in partnership with regional offices, states, and tribes as well as on internal efforts. The FY 2016-2017 NPM guidances are available for comment from February 23, 2015-March 23, 2015. You can submit comments to Marc Vincent and the appropriate NPM contact by March 23, 2015. NTAA comments focus on EPA's FY 2016-2017 Draft Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) NPM Guidance. EPA will post responses to comments on April 28, 2015. Read more on EPA's website here.

Download commnents on QAR National Program Manage Guidance.
EPA’s OAR guidance document.

NTAA hosted a 3-part webinar series discussing EPA’s Clean Power Plan that you can view here.

NTAA has created a brief summary sheet and comment letter for EPA's Clean Power Plan Supplemental Proposal. We strongly encourage Tribes to submit comments on this proposal. For additional information on the Supplemental Proposal, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-supplemental-proposal.

EPA’s Proposed Rule to Limit Radon Emissions from Uranium Mills: NESHAP Subpart W is a radon emission standard for operating uranium mill tailings. In accordance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, this proposed rule would require the use of generally available control technology (GACT) to limit radon emissions from tailings at all uranium recovery facilities. Specific control technologies would be required at conventional tailings impoundments, evaporation ponds and heap leach piles.
Click here for the EPA link on this draft rule.

Grants.gov Issue: Comment Period Open until further notice. EPA is proposing that all initial proposals/applications submitted for EPA competitive assistance agreement awards, including fellowships, as well as non-competitive assistance agreement awards based on solicitations issued on or after February 17, 2015 must be submitted using Grants.gov. EPA hosted an informational conference call about this proposed requirement on September 30th. Click here to see EPA’s response to NTAA’s comment letter on this issue. While this proposed policy has no official comment period, if you wish to submit comments, please submit them soon as EPA has worked to modify the policy based upon NTAA and other’s comments.
Sulfur Dioxide 1-hour Reporting Data Requirement The comment period for this closed on July 14, 2014. This proposed rule will direct state and tribal air agencies to provide data characterizing current air quality in areas with large sources of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions if such areas do not have sufficient air quality monitoring in place to identify maximum 1-hour SO2 concentrations.

Wood Heaters Rule The comment period for this closed on May 5, 2014. EPA proposed revisions to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new residential wood heaters. These revisions would require all manufacturers to meet new emission and efficiency standards for newly manufactured wood-fired stoves, pellet stoves, indoor and outdoor wood boilers, new wood-fired forced air furnaces, and new masonry heaters.

Carbon Pollution Rule The comment period for this closed on May 9, 2014. In 2012, U.S. EPA proposed a new source performance standard (NSPS) for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) for new affected fossil fuel-powered electric utility generating units (EGUs). The U.S. EPA received more than 2.5 million comments on this initial proposed rule. After consideration of information provided in those comments, as well as consideration of continuing changes in the electricity sector, the U.S. EPA determined that revisions in its proposed rule were warranted. Thus, in a separate action, the U.S EPA withdrew the April 13, 2012 proposal and in this action, the U.S. EPA proposed new standards of performance for new affected fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines.

Minor New Source Review General Permits for Indian Country, 1st bundle: The comment period for this closed on March 17th, 2014. EPA proposed options to simplify the Clean Air Act permitting process for certain smaller sources of air pollution commonly found in Indian country. This action ensures that air quality in Indian country is protected by facilitating the implementation of the Indian Country Minor Source New Source Review (NSR) Rule issued by EPA in July 2011. This action would impact five source categories:
EPA’s Minor New Source Review General Permits for Indian Country: 2nd Bundle: This comment period closed on September 17, 2014. The draft rule is based upon New Source Review Permitting Program. Congress established the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program as part of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments. NSR is a preconstruction permitting program that covers, in this 2nd bundle:




NTAA Official Letters:


EJ 2020 Fact Sheet On July 29, 2016, NTAA submitted this comment letter to U.S. EPA regarding EPA’s proposed EJ 2020 Action Agenda. To learn more, you can click here for EPA’s EJ 2020 Fact Sheet. The fact sheet highlights the vision, goals, key areas, lead EPA offices and anticipated results of EJ 2020. It also includes general information about stakeholder outreach efforts, implementation and annual reporting for EJ 2020.

NTAA_CommentExtReq_SubpartWRule.pdf - This NTAA letter sent to EPA on June 13, 2014 requested a comment period extension for EPA’s Proposed Rule to Limit Radon Emissions from Uranium Mills. EPA did respond by extending the comment period till October 29, 2014.

NTAA_ECLettertoEPA1914.pdf - This NTAA letter was sent to EPA on January 9th, 2014 reminding EPA about the importance of funding Tribal Air Programs. EPA response was given at an in-person meeting between NTAA EC members and EPA leadership that same day.

NTAA_lettertoEPAonEJPrinciples6514.pdf - This NTAA letter was sent to EPA on June 5th, 2014 reflecting NTAA’s comments on U.S. EPA’s proposed Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples. The comment period for this proposed policy closed on June 9th, 2014.

AppendixA_NTAACommentsonEPAEJPrinciples6514.pdf - This is an appendix to NTAA’s June 5th letter on U.S. EPA’s proposed Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples listed above.

NTAA Letter to U.S. EPA on the subject of EPA’s proposed requirement that all grant applications be submitted electronically to Grants.gov - This NTAA letter was sent on March 11, 2014 commenting on the Grants.gov issue mentioned above.