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International team visits U.S. EPA Region 8 for U.S. environmental performance review

Release Date: 6/9/2004
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      Denver – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conducted its second Environmental Performance Review of the United States in late May and early June. Part of that review was performed with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8, Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, from May 31 through June 4.

The OECD Team for the first time requested meetings with Tribes in Region 8, specifically with senior leaders and environmental managers of the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes on the Reservations. The purpose of the meetings was to assess the role and contributions of tribal governments in environmental protection. Each Tribe provided information on their environmental programs, including how they relate to economic development. Each of these environmental programs is supported by funds from the individual Tribes, EPA and other federal agencies, such as U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While in Denver the OECD, led by the Secretariat staff and consisting of five senior environmental officials from Japan, Norway, Australia, and France, met with leaders and officials from the federal government, the State of Colorado, the City of Denver, and local business and environmental organizations, and environmental expert organizations, including the Natural Resources Law Center and The Nature Conservancy. The visiting Team also met with the National Park Service at Mesa Verde National Park.

The OECD Review was last conducted in the United States in 1995. It is part of a peer review program launched by the Environment Ministers of the 30 OECD member countries. The goals of the performance review are to help member governments assess environmental programs and to promote policy dialogue and information exchange among OECD countries. In addition, the OECD program fosters international harmonization of environmental policies in order to avoid distortions in trade and competitiveness.

The OECD Team will return to the United States in several months to deliver its findings and recommendations to environmental authorities.