State & Tribal Programs
State & Tribal Programs at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) encompass the following areas:
Through the Agreement State Program, 37 States have signed formal agreements with the NRC, under which those States have assumed regulatory responsibility over certain byproduct and source material, as well as small quantities of special nuclear material. The NRC assists States intending to become Agreement States, and reviews and approves new Agreements. NRC technical assistance to Agreement States continues after the agreement is signed. The NRC also reviews Agreement State programs for continued adequacy to protect public health and safety, and ensure compatibility with the agency's regulatory program. The NRC and Agreement States jointly develop new regulations, regulatory guidance, and other regulatory initiatives.
The NRC works in cooperation with Federal, State, and local governments, interstate organizations, and Native American tribes. This cooperation ensures that the NRC maintains effective relations and communications with these organizations. It also promotes greater awareness and mutual understanding of the policies, activities, and concerns of all parties involved, as they relate to radiological safety at NRC-licensed facilities.
Under the NRC’s State Liaison Officer Program, every governor appoints a State Liaison Officer who works directly with the NRC’s Regional State Liaison Officers. The goal of the State Liaison Officer Program is to improve cooperation and two-way communication between the NRC and the States.
To foster effective interaction with Native American tribes, NRC staff in the Federal, State, and Tribal Liaison Program employ the Tribal Protocol Manual. For additional information, see Emergency Preparedness and Response.
On December 2, 2016, the NRC approved a final Tribal Policy Statement of principles to guide the agency's government-to-government interactions with American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes. The NRC will soon publish the statement in the Federal Register.
The Tribal Policy Statement is centered on the following principles:
- The NRC Recognizes the Federal Trust Relationship With and Will Uphold its Trust Responsibility to Indian Tribes.
- The NRC Recognizes and Is Committed to a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes.
- The NRC Will Conduct Outreach to Indian Tribes.
- The NRC Will Engage in Timely Consultation.
- The NRC Will Coordinate with Other Federal Agencies.
- The NRC Will Encourage Participation by State-Recognized Tribes.
For additional information please refer to the NRC’s Tribal Policy Web site.
- Tribal Advance Notification
Through Tribal Advance Notification, Tribes can choose to receive notification of irradiated reactor fuel or other nuclear waste shipments that passes across their reservation, which recognizes Tribal sovereignty and their governments' interest in being cognizant of activities taking place on Tribal reservations.
The Office of Nuclear Material, Safety and Safeguards serves as the primary contact for NRC policy matters for these program areas, while the NRC's Headquarters and Regional Offices implement day-to-day program activities.