MNR’s Environment Branch

About This Branch

The Environmental Branch is comprised of various programs and projects that benefit the natural environment of the Tribal Community, while building and supporting the cultural and traditional aspect.s This is undertaken by Branch staff who monitor, assess, collect, and compile data for the restoration and enforcement of protection for Tribal water and air, thus ensuring cultural resources for the next generation to come. 

The Environmental Branch receives federal funding through the following agencies: 

    • Environmental Protection Agency – EPA
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs – BIA 
    • United States Geological Survey – USDA 
    • United States Department of the Interior – USDOI 
    • FEMA 

Water Program

The Meskwaki Settlement utilizes water resources for everyday needs, as well as for multiple uses including recreation, cultural practices, and substance. 

The purpose of the Tribal Water Program is to protect, maintain, conserve and improve the water resources on the lands of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (the “Settlement”) for the health and welfare of present and future generations, including for public and private drinking water supplies; to promote the habitation, growth, and propagation of native and other desirable aquatic plant and animal life; to protect existing and future domestic, cultural, ceremonial, agricultural, recreational, and industrial uses; and to protect any other existing and future beneficial uses of waters of the Tribe.

The Tribal Water program is funding by the following Grants: 

  • EPA
  • BIA
  • FEMA
  • USGS

Air Program

The Tribal Air Program is dedicated to monitoring and ensuring that the air remains clean and safe for Tribal Members and the general public, now and into the future.

Over the years, MNR has provided questionnaires to the community, detailing natural resource/environmental areas of concern. Indoor air quality continues to rank #2 on the list of concerns. The Air Program has and will continue to further the program in indoor air monitoring, outdoor air monitoring, emissions inventory, and radon testing. The Environmental Branch continues to work jointly with other Tribal Departments to help assist in developing housing codes, building codes, codes that impact gravel roads, and other infrastructure impacts that address both indoor/outdoor air quality issues.

Compliance & Permitting Program

Generally, compliance means adhering to a rule, such as a policy, standard, specification, or law. 

  • Compliance Monitoring Program assesses and documents compliance with permits and regulations, supports the enforcement process through evidence collection, monitors compliance with enforcement orders and decrees, creates deterrence, and provides feedback on implementation challenges to permit and rule writers when needed. 
  • Compliance Assistance Program provides support for the Tribe to ensure that environmental regulatory requirements are being meet.  Environmental Branch assures compliance by providing assistance tools and methods which include one-to-one meetings, resources, fact sheets, guides and training if needed. 
  • Environmental Justice Program works with Tribal departments to constructively and collaboratively address environmental and public health issues and concern.
  • Environmental Assessments/NEPA compliance Program works with tribal departments to assistance with EA/NEPA guidelines are being meet. 

Learn More About the MNR Department

Visit our department page to learn more about our different branches and check out our recent projects.