Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
November 2018
A goal of EPA's Office of Land and
Emergency Management (OLEM) is to
prevent contamination and restore land by
promoting and implementing protective
waste management practices and by
assessing and cleaning up contaminated
EPA works with federally recognized tribes
by supporting the implementation of federal
environmental laws, with a special
emphasis on assisting tribes to administer
their own environmental programs. These
efforts help us promote our federal trust
responsibility; government-to-government
relationships; and EPA's 1984 Indian Policy.
Within EPA's statutory authorities,
preventing contamination and cleaning up
contaminated land protects human health
and the environment, while enabling tribal
communities to pursue future beneficial use
or reuse of resources for economic,
environmental and traditional purposes.
This link provides information on waste
management programs and resources for
tribes: https://www.epa.gov/tribal-lands
* All information on this fact sheet is available
on the EPA Web Site.
RCRA Overview
RCRA protects communities and promotes
resource conservation. To achieve this,
EPA develops regulations, guidance and
policies that ensure the safe management
and cleanup of solid and hazardous waste,
and programs that encourage source
reduction and beneficial reuse. RCRA
prevents contamination from adversely
impacting our communities that could result
in future contaminated sites, including
Superfund sites.
For more information on the history of
RCRA, how RCRA works today, RCRA
regulations for non-hazardous and
hazardous waste, and tools available for
implementing RCRA, please visit:
Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act (RCRA) Information for Tribes
Protecting, Preserving and
Cleaning Up Tribal Lands

Role of Tribal Governments
EPA views tribal governments as the
appropriate non-federal parties for making
decisions and carrying out program
responsibilities affecting Indian reservations,
their environments, and the health and
welfare of the reservation populace. Tribal
governments are responsible for the proper
and safe collection and management of
non-hazardous waste that is generated on
their lands.
EPA's Direct
Implementation of Federal
Environmental Programs in
Indian Country	
EPA is responsible for implementing federal
environmental statutes in Indian country
where there is no federally-approved tribal
program in place. Currently, EPA maintains
responsibility for the implementation of most
federal environmental statutes in Indian
country, including regulating the
management of hazardous waste and the
permitting of municipal solid waste landfills.
For more information, please visit:
EPA's Tribal Waste	https: //www, e pa. g ov/tri bal/d i rect-
Management Program	implementation-indian-country
EPA's Tribal Waste Management Program
provides national policy direction, and
partners with the EPA Regions and other
federal agencies to assist tribes with their
sustainable materials management and
waste management programs. It also
provides technical assistance, training and
funding, education, and outreach to tribes,
and facilitates waste program peer matches
among tribes.
For more information, please visit:
Tribal Waste Management
Funding Resources
The Tribal Waste Management Funding
Resources Directory is an online searchable
resource that lists financial waste
management assistance sources (grants,
loans, cost-sharing) available to tribes and
nonprofit organizations. Both subject matter
criteria-based searches and general word-
based searches of the funding programs are
For more information, please visit:
di rectory