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Balancing Cultural Interests and Environmental Protection

Environmental Consulting Experienced in the Unique Needs of Tribal Communities

Environmental investigation and restoration activities at culturally significant project locations require an added level of discriminating and subtle effort that only few consultants can provide.  Understanding the special interests of indigenous peoples takes years of close collaboration, a deep level of trust, and integrity.  

Hargis has worked with Native American communities to protect their lands and participate in meaningful stakeholder engagement for decades.  We have successfully coordinated with our clients, responsible parties, and agencies on working toward a remedy that effectively resolves the environmental issues, while protecting the sacred landscape in the best possible way.


Site Investigation and Environmental Remediation

Environmental investigations and remediation on Native lands require a unique set of qualifications:   environmental experts who understand how to navigate the complexity of environmental regulation and jurisdiction, consider cultural sensitivities and mitigate adverse impacts to cultural values and environmental resources, maintain stakeholder engagement, and promote environmental justice.

Hargis has supported tribal communities with comprehensive environmental consulting services including construction engineering and hydrogeologic on-site monitoring, RCRA facility investigation, CERCLA remedial investigation, feasibility studies, corrective measures studies, and human health & ecological risk assessments. 


Groundwater Exploration and Development

Indigenous communities are facing a serious threat to sustainable water resources.  Many communities have taken the steps to develop new sources of water supplies to meet demand for drinking water and irrigation. 

Our hydrogeologic engineering services help community leaders identify, secure, and manage groundwater supplies using a variety of methods including groundwater resource evaluations, impact and mitigation analysis, and water well and recharge basin design. Our team can support your water project from planning and analysis through construction and long-term operations and maintenance. 

 

Stakeholder Engagement

Regarding matters of environmental protection, the priority of concerns between indigenous peoples, neighboring non-indigenous communities, private sector business, and government agencies are not necessary in parallel.  Stakeholder engagement seeks to establish mutual respect and agreement on the project goals and the patch to achieve those goals.  

Hargis has served as liaison between government agencies, public utility, and the tribe to achieve balance of regulatory compliance, sensitivity to culturally sacred lands, and protection of human health and the environment.

 

Litigation Response and Negotiation

As sovereign nations, Native Americans have the right to govern the environment within their territory.  Jurisdictional matters related to ownership, boundaries, access, and control between tribal, state, and federal governments is complicated.  Natural resources, like groundwater, often cross jurisdictional boundaries.  Protecting and restoring these resources requires an extensive amount of stakeholder engagement, deep understanding of both tribal and government regulations, and often involve lawsuits.

Hargis has served as technical consultant in a litigation support capacity for Native American tribes involving complex environmental issues.   

 
Range of Services

Hargis environmental consultants provide turnkey program support- from science to compliance.

  • Hydrogeologic investigation and impact assessments
  • Hydrologic engineering and permitting
  • Document review for state and federal environmental regulations
  • Environmental modeling
  • Environmental remediation
  • Expert witness
  • Groundwater, soil, and vapor sampling
  • Project management
  • Stakeholder Engagement

 

Featured Project

Environmental Remediation on Native Lands

A Native American tribe retained Hargis as its technical consultant in a litigation support capacity after a utility constructed a groundwater remediation facility. The litigation alleged that the facility adversely impacted a sacred area.

Featured Blog

Four Issues Unique to the Environmental Protection of Native Lands

Environmental investigation and remediation on Native lands requires a unique set of qualifications- environmental experts who understand how to navigate the complexity of environmental regulation and jurisdiction, cultural sensitivities, stakeholder engagement, and environmental justice.   Understanding the special interests of indigenous peoples takes years of close collaboration, a deep level of trust, and integrity.