Infrastructure Consultation

The National Tribal Water Council

Recommendations for consideration by Tribal Leaders in response to infrastructure consultation, Autumn 2016

“Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.  Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions:  (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.”

The National Tribal Water Council respectfully submits this package of recommendations for Tribal Leaders consideration whether to advocate for these provisions during this historic consultation. In our view, these provisions, if enacted and fully implemented, would “better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights…”

  1. Close the mining loopholes in the Clean Water Act
    Executive Summary
    White paper
    Copy of Waste Treatment System provision in Clean Water Act
  2. Review all existing pipeline infrastructure to require compliance with current regulations in order to permit continued operation, and in the case where compliance is not possible, decommission
    Executive Summary
    White paper
  3. Enact provisions to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of climate change on tribal nations, including  a.  an indefinite moratorium on new carbon fuel extraction, transportation, or processing infrastructure, and b.  a NEPA requirement to carry out a carbon impact study in EA or EIS documents
    Executive Summary
    White paper
  4. Insert a requirement for Free, Prior, and Informed Consent into consultation language for all infrastructure projects that cross tribal homelands or affect treaty-affirmed retained rights, whether trust land or ceded territory.
    Executive Summary
    White paper
    UN definition of FPIC
    E.O. 13175
    Obama memorandum
    List of Federal Agencies’ policies on consultation
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