NOTE: The EPA TOSC and TOSNAC programs ended on August 31, 2006. The TAB program continues to serve brownfields efforts. KSU may continue to provide technical assistance at Superfund and Native American sites through other programs. Communities seeking technical assistance should contact:
- Belinda Young in EPA Region 7’s office (for help in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, or Iowa) at 913-551-7463 and Young.Belinda@epa.gov;
- Briana Bill in EPA Region 5’s office (for help in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) at 312-353-6646 and Bill.Briana@epa.gov; or
- Karen Martin at EPA Headquarters at 703-603-9925, Martin.Karenl@epa.gov; or
- EPA personnel identified at the bottom of each TOSC Site description page.
The Technical Outreach Services for Native American Communities (TOSNAC) program provides technical assistance to Native Americans dealing with hazardous substance issues. This program is national in scope and coordinated through the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center at Haskell Indian Nations University. It provides first contact, needs assessment, initial support, and long-term technical support arrangements by regional TOSC programs and other resources, as necessary.
In any community involvement situation, the diverse backgrounds and interests of stakeholders may complicate public participation in the environmental decision-making process. This is also true when Native American communities are involved, where added levels of cultural, social and historical differences exist. In addition, tribal communities consider a much broader range of environmental effects and risks when dealing with environmental concerns. While human health is one factor, certain other living and physical resources in the surrounding environment are also critically important. An evolving process that considers this broader range of factors is called "Cultural Risk Assessment."
Brenda Brandon, the TOSNAC Program Coordinator, and student assistants receive requests for technical support from tribal groups or from referrals from EPA and other officials. Brenda determines if TOSNAC and TOSC can help, and then:
A major part of the TOSNAC effort involves assisting tribes to develop Cultural Risk Assessment processes meeting specific cultural values/beliefs, in terms that both tribes and other stakeholders (such as EPA, DoD, and states) can understand. This requires co-learning among the tribal, TOSNAC, and other stakeholders. The end result, if successful, is a consensus approach to detecting, assessing, and addressing impacts to important tribal cultural resources.
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The Center for Hazardous Substance Research
Last modified October 13, 2009