EPA’s National Priorities List sites are some of the most contaminated places in the country. They may pose unique challenges for Indian tribes. For example, toxic substances in 2 New York rivers pose a threat to one tribe’s health and its subsistence lifestyle, which includes fishing.
EPA has a policy to consult with tribes if its efforts to deal with these sites may affect them. In some cases, consultation is a legal mandate. However, we found the databases EPA uses to track sites and tribal consultations are sometimes inaccurate.
We made 4 recommendations, including that EPA improve its data and clarify its guidance on consultations.