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Federal Register: August 14, 1996
Volume 61, Number 158
Page 42255-42256

Two American Indian Men

Department of Health and Human Services

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry [ATSDR-107]

Policy on Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments

Summary: This notice announces the final ATSDR policy on conducting government-to-government relationships with federally recognized tribal governments. The draft policy was published for public comment in the Federal Register on August 1, 1995 [60 FR 39176]. The public comment period ended August 31, 1995. Comments were received from 5 individuals representing tribal governments and intertribal councils. This document reflects finalization of the ATSDR policy after consideration of those comments.

Supplementary Information: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry issues the following policy statement related to its Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments:

The mission of ATSDR is to prevent exposure and adverse human health effects and diminished quality of life associated with exposure to hazardous substances from waste sites, unplanned releases, and other sources of pollution present in the environment. In carrying out its programs, ATSDR works with other Federal, State, and local government agencies, and tribal organizations to protect public health.

The U.S. Government has a unique government-to-government relationship with tribal governments as established by the U.S. Constitution, by treaties, by statute, by court decisions, and by Executive Orders. This relationship respects the U.S. Government's trust responsibility to American Indians and Alaska Natives and their rights of self-government because of their sovereign status. ATSDR is strongly committed to building a more effective day-to-day working relationship with tribal governments.

In fulfilling the commitment to establish and maintain government- to-government relations with federally recognized tribal governments, ATSDR will be guided by:

(1) Section 126 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the principles set forth in the President's ``Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies Regarding: Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments'' (April 29, 1994). In particular, ATSDR will:

In a manner consistent with the protection of public health, consult with tribal governments to ensure that tribal rights and concerns are considered before ATSDR takes actions, makes decisions, or implements programs that may affect tribes; and

Establish procedures to work directly and effectively with tribal governments.

(2) The needs and culture of individual tribal governments;

(3) ATSDR's prior and ongoing experience with tribal governments, and recognized organizations associated with such governments; and

(4) The need to enhance coordination with other agencies with related areas of responsibility.

Dated: August 8, 1996.
Claire V. Broome, Deputy Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
[FR Doc. 96-20702 Filed 8-13-96; 8:45 am]

This page last updated on December 15, 2003

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