News from  the
Center  for Environmental  Finance
                 Advancing sustainable finance and technology solutions
                                             Office of the Chief
                                              Financial Officer
                                              February 2011
                                             Volume 2, Issue 1
 Environmental Finance Centers Work with
 Tribes to Promote Economic Development
 through Environmental Protection

 For over a decade, Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) at Dominican
 University of California and  the New  Mexico  Institute of Mining  and
 Technology (NMT) have been working with tribes across the western and
 southwestern United States.  Both emphasizing long-term stewardship of
 tribal lands, the New Mexico EFC specializes in building capacity for tribal
 water systems, and the EFC at Dominican focuses on tribal sustainable
 enterprise development.
                             Photo courtesy of the Tribal Sustainability Program
 Recently, Heather Himmelberger of NMT, Sarah Diefendorf of Dominican and their staffs worked collaboratively to
 develop a Tribal Sustainability Program, building on shared and specialized expertise in the area of tribal land
 stewardship. The program is designed to help tribes frame sustainable development approaches that reflect the world
 views of their community members.
      Snapshot of Tribal Projects

     Green Technology Feasibility Studies
     Solar Energy Evaluation and Finance
     Tribal Recycling Businesses
     Tribal Utility Board and Water
     Operator Training
     Ecotourism Assessment and
     Performance Evaluations for Tribal
     Water Systems
     Tribal Integrated Solid Waste
     Management Plans
     Tribal Marketing Analyses and
     Business Plan Guides
The Tribal Sustainability Program emphasizes climate adaptation solu-
tions through safe drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, solid
waste management and recycling, renewable energy  development, and
business plan development. For example, the EFC at Dominican Univer-
sity is currently working with the Navajo tribe on a business plan for the
installation and operation of a utility scale solar field on Black Mesa. The
New Mexico EFC is training tribal members on proper water disinfection
techniques and is administering a tribal operator certification program.

The EFCs work with each tribe to tailor their technical assistance. This
ensures that individual tribal needs are addressed, helping to simultane-
ously foster tribal independence and build trust in the EFCs for future
collaboration. Though the Tribal Sustainability Program, the EFCs are
demonstrating to the tribes that there is a positive  connection between
economic  development, environmental  protection,  and work done to
mitigate climate change.
 EPA supports the Environmental Finance Centers through a grant program.  For more information on EFCs' tribal programs,
 visit the New Mexico EFC at and the Dominican University at

New Report on Financial Assurance Cost Estimation Issued by
Environmental Financial Advisory Board
The   Environmental  Financial
Advisory Board (EFAB) recently
submitted a report for EPA consid-
eration,  titled  "Improving  Cost
Estimation as a Financial Assurance
Tool."  This is the fourth in a series
of reports examining  the use  of
financial test/corporate  guaranty,
captive  insurance, and commercial
insurance.  EPA's Office of Solid
Waste  and  Emergency  Response
charged  EFAB  with addressing a
series   of  questions  regarding
financial assurance requirements for
programs  operating  under  the
Resource   Conservation   and
Recovery Act (RCRA).

EFAB's most recent  report looks at
cost   estimation  practices  and
provides  recommendations  for
improving  the  cost  estimates that
underpin  the  use of all  financial
assurance instruments.  The conclu-
sions  and  recommendations in  the
report are  the result of a year-long
process involving an intensive series
of meetings, discussions, and delib-
erations with EPA experts and mem-
bers of the Association of State and
Territorial  Solid Waste Management
Officials. This process has strength-
ened EFAB's  opinion regarding the
critical importance  of  good  cost

EFAB's most important conclusion
outlined in the report  is that  cost
estimates for  actions and  activities
under  RCRA  (and   Superfund
programs)   are   not   uniformly
accurate and up-to-date.  To begin
to  address  this   concern, EFAB
suggests that EPA and its public and
private  partners i
need to improve
cost   estimation
expertise    and
work by develop-
ing  more  stan-
dardized cost es-1
timates; provid-
ing more educa-
tion on best  practices;  and  ex-
panding   existing  coordinating
mechanisms in cost-effective ways.
Photo courtesy of EPA
The entire report and other EFAB reports are located at
efabpub.htm.  EFAB is a federally chartered advisory committee that provides
advice  and recommendations to EPA  on paying  for  the growing costs of
environmental protection and how to increase the investment in environmental
infrastructure through the leveraging of public and private resources.
Reminder!  Guidebook of Financial Tools
Available on Website
The question of how to pay for envi-
ronmental protection programs and
projects is a central theme  of the
Center for Environmental Finance's
work.   In  2008,  we  published a
document titled,  "Paying  for  Sus-
tainable Environmental Systems:  A
Guidebook of Financial Tools." The
document is composed of more than
300  tools that assist public  and
private sector parties in finding the
most  appropriate ways to finance
their   environmental  protection
meaning the tools are cost-effective,
long-lasting,  successful  environ-
mental  protection  initiatives.   It
includes   concise,  user-friendly,
information about a wide variety of
innovative financing  mechanisms,
including  fundraising  strategies,
public-private  partnerships,  and
traditional means  of raising  reve-
nue, borrowing capital, and enhanc-
ing credit.  Approaches to paying
for pollution prevention and com-
munity-based environmental protec-
tion are also included.
 Upcoming Events

 Environmental Financial Advisory
 Board Meeting - Alexandria, VA
    March 8-9, 2011

 Environmental Finance Seminar
 Series: Green Building Investments
    April 27, 2011
  Newsletter Staff:
  Susan Emerson
  Vanessa Bowie
The ten sections of the Guidebook
present  information  on  financial
tools that  can  help make environ-
mental  protection  "sustainable,"
The Guidebook is updated periodically
and available online at
  Sarah Diefendorf
  Heather Himmelberger
         Center for Environmental Finance Newsletter    February 2011    EPA-190-N-11-001    Page 2