The mission of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Environmental Department is to protect human health, the environment, and the cultural heritage of the Quapaw people through applying scientific methods in understanding impacts to our natural world.

The Environmental Department can provide Tribal members with information regarding water quality, air quality, illegal solid waste dumps, recycling, Tar Creek site issues (including some chat sales information), and other environmental issues affecting Quapaw Tribal lands and Northeast Ottawa County.

Ongoing projects of the Environmental Department:

General Assistance Program (GAP) Grant

The GAP Grant is in place to help develop and build capacity within the Tribe's Environmental Department to manage their own environmental protection programs and to develop and implement solid and hazardous waste programs in relation to the Tribe's needs and applicable federal laws and regulations.

Clean Water Act (CWA) 106 Grant

The CWA 106 Grant helps us monitor surface waters within Quapaw Tribe jurisdictional boundaries. We collect and analyze water samples from eight sites on Beaver Creek, Tar Creek, Elm Creek, and Spring River. The data is used to assess the quality of water and determine if the water bodies meet their designated uses.

CWA 319 Grant

The CWA 319 Grant or Non-Point Source (NPS) pollution encompasses sources of pollution that do not come from a pin-pointed source; examples of NPS pollution include urban and agricultural runoff. The CWA 319 Grant provides funding to improve water quality and watershed health. Activities under this grant include investigating origins of NPS pollution, developing a comprehensive watershed management plan, and educating the community about how they can reduce NPS pollution.

Clean Air Act (CAA) 103 Grant

The CAA 103 Grant is for monitoring and outreach and education for ambient air quality issues. We monitor ambient air quality for ozone, particulate matter, ammonia, lead in total suspended particulates, temperature, wind speed and wind direction, and relative humidity.

Superfund Cooperative Agreements

  • The Superfund Cooperative Agreements ensure that the interests of the Quapaw Tribe and the protection of human health and the environment within Quapaw jurisdiction are addressed in all matters regarding the Tar Creek Superfund Site. Additionally, the Superfund Cooperative Agreements allow the Quapaw Tribe to:
  • Report all information gathered regarding the Site to the Tribal Business Committee.
  • Provide technical review of Superfund documents (investigations, studies, reports, etc.) regarding the Site.
  • Participate in meetings, conference calls, and decision planning related to ongoing Remedial Design/ Remedial Action projects, particularly as they pertain to Tribal Lands.
  • Represent the Quapaw Environmental Program in working with the EPA, US Corps of Engineers, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the US Geological Survey, and other appropriate federal and /or state agencies on superfund issues.
  • Stay current on information and developments regarding CERCLA issues.
  • Attend meetings, conferences, and training as required to achieve the above-listed goals.
  • Provide field oversight when Superfund activity occurs on Tribal trust land and when requested by stakeholder agencies.
  • Ensure that the Tribe is involved in all projects related to tribal lands at the Tar Creek Site.

Various Superfund Cooperative Agreements include:

Management Assistance Grant

Distal 08 (Catholic 40) Remedial Response

Beaver Creek North Remedial Response

Distal 13 Remedial Response

Distal 10 and 12 Remedial Response

New Cooperative Agreements will be added to this list as current remedial projects finish and new remedial projects are started. Please contact the Quapaw Tribe Environmental Department with any questions concerning ongoing projects.

Volkswagen Trust Settlement

In 2016 the United States reached a settlement with companies collectively known as “Volkswagen” (VW) to resolve allegations that VW knowingly enabled automobiles to emit pollutants that far exceeded what is allowable under U.S. emissions standards (violating the Clean Air Act). As a result, a multimillion-dollar mitigation trust account was established for federally recognized tribes to reduce nitrous oxide emissions through approved mitigation plans. Quapaw Nation has been officially designated as an approved beneficiary in 2018.

Our mitigation plan focuses primarily on replacing specific classes of diesel-powered vehicles with new, low-emission diesel vehicles for our Fire/EMS and Quapaw Services. In May of 2019, the Trustee disbursed monies to the Quapaw Nation for the 1st of up to five (5) total funding cycles for which the Quapaw Nation is eligible. We will satisfy VW Beneficiary reporting obligations by compiling semiannual reports, which can be viewed in our public notices section below.

Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust

Public Notice

On 04/04/2019, the Quapaw Nation submitted an application under the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for Indian Tribe Beneficiaries dated 11/30/2018.

Please visit the Environmental Office with any inquiries on the submittal of the First Funding Round Application.

Outreach and Education

The Quapaw Tribe Environmental Department presents informational and educational programs throughout the community to increase awareness of issues that impact human health and the environment.

  • Quapaw School Earth Week
  • Downstream Health Fair
  • Buffalo Run Health Fair
  • Tar Creek Tours
  • Wyandotte Nation Environmental Festival
  • Quapaw Tribal Health Fair
  • Lost Creek Water Festival
  • Tar Creek Conference
  • Quapaw Hay Days
  • Tar Creek Superfund Community Involvement Informational Meetings