About The Commission

The Cherokee Nation Environmental Code establishes a five-person board called the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) to oversee environmental programs. The Code gives the EPC authority to regulate traditional areas of environmental concern, such as solid waste and underground storage tanks, toxic and hazardous substance control, and water quality. The Code reserves Article 9 for Historical 
and Cultural Preservation.

The EPC is responsible for reviewing the Environmental Code and recommending changes to the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council. (63 CNCA §101(D)1). The purpose of the Environmental Code is to  “promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to natural resources and the environment and to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Cherokee Nation.” (63 CNCA §301)

Other powers and duties of the EPC include the promulgation of rules, enforcement actions, permit issuance, approval of facility plans, oversight of environmental review activities and procedures for handling complaints. Cherokee Nation employees who work in the Environmental Programs and the Office of General Counsel provide assistance to the EPC.

Environmental Programs and Projects Include:
• Environmental Complaints and Emergency Response (new)
• Environmental enforcement and litigation
• Special Projects to identify, validate and protect the Nation’s resources
• Development of environmental laws and rules for the Nation
• Lead based paint, indoor radon and asbestos assessments
• Environmental impact assessments and reviews
• Work on cases involving contamination of houses by illegal drug manufacturing
• Training/certification programs for LBP workers and ASTM Phase I Assessments
• Inter-Tribal Environmental Council (ITEC), providing training and assistance to other tribes
• Superfund, Brownfields and Underground Storage Tanks
• GAP projects, including establishment of a one-stop information database
• Stream assessments and water quality monitoring
• Air quality monitoring
• Recycling and environmental education
• Solid waste and clean up of illegal dumps