Tribal Councilor appointed to EPA committee
BY STAFF REPORTS
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Tribal Councilor Cara Cowan Watts has been selected to serve on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee. Her term began on Nov. 15 and will run until Nov. 30, 2014.
The LGAC provides advice and recommendations that assist the EPA in developing stronger partnerships with local governments through building state and local capacity to deliver environmental services and programs. Its ultimate goal is to provide the citizens with more efficient and effective environmental protection at the community, state and federal level.
In a letter to Cowan Watts, the EPA stated her “experience and perspective are particularly valuable to the agency” as it explores ways in which national policy might affect state and local governments.
“I accepted the nomination as it is an honor to be considered and incredibly important work on behalf of Indian Country and the Cherokee Nation,” Cowan Watts of Claremore said. “I want to raise awareness about the work being done in Indian Country and still needing to be done in Indian Country concerning our environment. Federal regulations impact on governments and specifically more localized governments such as tribes seems to be the main focus.”
The LGAC is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and has been in existence since 1993. It is comprised primarily of elected and appointed local officials, along with several state representatives, environmental interest groups and labor interests. Committee members come from various regions around the country.
She said the committee is scheduled to meet every three to four months across the United States, but meets primarily in Washington, D.C.
“I believe my appointment will help the Cherokee people. As we continue to exercise our governmental obligations to protect our environment such as water and air quality, we are obligated to uphold the federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act same as the states around us,” she said.
Cara Cowan Watts