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Cherokee Nation recognized with Clean Air Excellence Award


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence Awards program recognizes and honors outstanding, innovative efforts in achieving cleaner air. The awards are presented in five categories: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, regulatory/policy innovations and transportation efficiency innovations - with two additional awards for visionary programs and individual achievement.

This year’s award for community action is presented to:

Cherokee Nation Environmental Programs, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

The Cherokee Nation became active in ambient air quality monitoring in 1996, and since that time has established a network of criteria pollutant monitors in Oklahoma and New Mexico. As the lead agency in the Inter-tribal Environmental Council (ITEC), Cherokee Nation has been the forerunner in protecting health, natural resources, and the environment for the tribal community. Primarily, they oversee five stationary air monitoring stations and a mobile air monitoring station. This system comprises the largest tribal air monitoring system in the United States and continues to grow and evolve. The Cherokee Nation also offers technical assistance to the 42 tribes that are members of the ITEC consortia. The Cherokee Nation has provided tribes with data they can use to manage and protect air quality within their tribal lands and boundaries and has filled major data gaps by providing baseline information on air quality in rural areas. The leadership of the Cherokee Nation has provided a strong model for improving ambient air quality applicable to tribal communities across the United States.
The awards program was established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC), a senior-level policy committee that advises EPA on implementing the Clean Air Act. For more information on this year’s awards ceremony, visit: http://www.epa/gov/air/caaac/clean_award.html


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