2016 Tribal Lands & Environment ForumWe are very excited to once again offer the annual Tribal Lands and Environment Forum (TLEF). This year’s forum will be taking place at:
Mohegan Sun Resort
August 15-18, 2016
Once again, the forum will feature special trainings, field trips, and breakout sessions focused on solid/hazardous waste management, brownfields, UST/LUSTs, Superfund sites, and emergency response. This will also be the second time we include breakout sessions, trainings and field trips related to tribal water programs – water quality, drinking water, and habitat restoration (including wetlands, streams and fisheries).
On this website you will find information on registering for the forum, making hotel reservations, navigating transportation options, securing vendor/exhibitor tables, and the forum draft agenda. You may also access presentations and agendas from past forums.
SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL TRAININGS AND FIELD TRIPS
We will be offering the following special trainings and field trips at this year’s TLEF. To sign up for these opportunities please email Todd Barnell at Todd.Barnell@nau.edu. We will be accepting people on a first come, first served basis. Field trips are being capped at twenty participants and some trainings also will have a maximum number of attendees, so be sure and register for the TLEF and sign up for these opportunities sooner rather than later!
Monday, August 15
- 8 AM to 12 PM: 128(a) Tribal Response Program (Brownfields) 101 – Mickey Hartnett, Envirofields and KSU-TAB. An introduction to the CERCLA 128(a) Tribal Response Program for Brownfields. This training is for tribal staff or managers that are relatively new to the Brownfields program and the requirements of the US EPA 128(a) Tribal Response Program (TRP) grants. The training will be based upon materials developed specifically for tribes by the trainer for the US EPA. Skills learned will be effective implementation of the 4 Elements of the US EPA 128(a) Grant. Outcomes will be the "establishment and enhancement" of the tribal brownfields program. No base knowledge of the program is required for this session.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) – Staff from USEPA and FEMA. This session will provide tribes an overview of the National Incident Response Management System (NIMS), the role of tribes in NIMS, and opportunities for tribal assistance and capacity building by participating in NIMS and being able to effectively prepare and respond to environmental and public health incidents in Indian country. EPA has a major role in working with states and tribes to develop effective emergency response plans to address environmental and public health threats due to natural and man-made disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have formed a partnership to offer training to tribal participants on tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positional Systems (GPS), Emergency Management Procedures and Operations, and HAZUS-Multi Hazards approaches.
- 8 AM to 5 PM: Superfund Radiation Risk Assessment - Stuart Walker and Fred Dolislager, USEPA. This advanced course focuses on specific technical and regulatory issues that site managers and technical staff address when managing sites under the USEPA Superfund remediation program that have a risk assessment conducted for radioactive contaminants. By taking the course, participants will learn a step-by-step approach to the Superfund remedial program risk assessment process for radioactive contamination; explore methods for conducting site-specific risk assessments; discover practical recommendations for improving the radiation risk assessments conducted at your site; and master information about the radiation risk assessment process. The instructional methodology for this course includes lectures and demonstrations of using EPA risk and dose assessment calculators developed by the Superfund remedial program. The target audience for this course is site managers, risk assessors and others that want to obtain a working knowledge on conducting Superfund radiation risk assessments.
- 8 AM to 5 PM: Eight Hour HAZWOPER Refresher Training - Roberta Tohannie, ITEP. Once again, ITEP will offer a specialized HAZWOPER refresher training at the TLEF for tribal professionals looking to keep their current certification up to date. This training will be limited to twenty participants.
- 8 AM to 5 PM: Tribal Self-Governance through the Administration of Tribal Environmental Protection Programs: The Continuing Relevance of EPA’s 1984 Indian Policy and 1992 GAP Statute - Professor James Grijalva, University of North Dakota; Professor Eric Eberhard, Seattle University; and Luke Jones, USEPA AIEO. The 1984 “EPA Policy for the Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian Reservations” and the 1992 “Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act” (GAP) are based on the notion that tribal governments are the appropriate non-Federal parties for carrying out environmental program implementation responsibilities for Indian country. These documents continue to guide EPA in its work with tribes and help EPA fulfill its mission in a manner that promotes tribal “self-government.” This training session will cover the history and content of the 1984 Indian Policy and the 1992 GAP statute. Participants will learn: (1) The legal basis for EPA’s tribal program as expressed through the 1984 Indian Policy; (2) The authority to fund tribal capacity to administer environmental protection programs under the GAP statute; and (3) how these foundational documents continue to support tribal self-governance today.
- 8 AM to 5 PM (Continues on Tuesday): Water & Wastewater Utility Operation, Maintenance and Management (CEUs Provided) – Mark Nelson and Joe Longo from Horsley Witten Group, Inc. and staff from the United South and Eastern Tribes and USEPA. This training is intended for tribal utility operators, managers, and leaders. Over 600 participants have attended the same workshop in 17 locations with highly positive reviews. The workshop will use presentations, case studies, and group exercises to promote utility sustainability and instruct participants on how best to operate, troubleshoot, maintain and manage drinking water & wastewater collection treatment and disposal systems, covering: (1) Water & wastewater collection system management; (2) Water & wastewater treatment system operation and maintenance (O&M); (3) Decentralized system O&M and management; (4) Operator and management roles and responsibilities; (5) Developing rate structures to support utility operations; (6) Asset management to ensure system sustainability; and (7) Resiliency planning to respond to and recover from extreme events.
- 8 AM to 5 PM: FIELD TRIP to New Bedford Harbor. New Bedford Harbor is an 18,000 acre Superfund site that is an urban tidal estuary with sediments which are highly contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals. At least two manufacturers in the area used PCBs while producing electric devices from 1940 to the late 1970s. These facilities discharged industrial wastes containing PCBs directly into the harbor and indirectly through the city sewer system. EPA has been performing hydraulic dredging of the harbor since 2004. EPA also performs air monitoring during the active cleanup of New Bedford Harbor to confirm that the dredging, de-sanding, de-watering or water treatment operations do not cause elevated levels of airborne PCBs that could pose an unacceptable risk to public health.
- 10 AM to 5 PM: Greening Tribal Facilities and Mohegan Sun Tour –Jean McGinnis, Mohegan Tribe; Julie Jurkowski, ITEP; Other Presenters TBD. This special six-hour training will look at a variety of strategies to increase the efficiency, and overall environmental sustainability of Tribal facilities. Presenters will address issues such as waste diversion, minimizing food waste, increasing energy efficiency, and other. This training will also feature a tour of the many sustainability practices the Mohegan Tribe has put into place at the Mohegan Sun.
- 1 PM to 5 PM: Brownfields Tools to Engage Community and Assess Health Risks – Gary Perlman, ATSDR. In this interactive session, participants will learn about tools and resources created by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) National Brownfields/Land Reuse Health Initiative. To encourage "healthy redevelopment" ATSDR creates resources to help com-munities consider health in revitalization plans. Three ATSDR resources will be discussed. The first resource is the ATSDR Brownfields/Land Revitalization Action Model, a four-step framework to engage communities in land reuse planning. The second resource is the ATSDR Brownfields/Land Reuse Site Tool. This Tool is an inventory database and a rapid site screening/multiple chemical exposure dose calculating tool that allows users to assess sites by past/future use, institutional controls, sensitive populations, and suspected or confirmed contamination. The third resource is the ATSDR Dose Calculator, which is a computer program that allows users to calculate the amount of a toxic substance an individual may be exposed to. Participants in this session will practice using the ATSDR Action Model Toolkit, and should leave the session feeling confident that they can replicate an Action Model process in their own communities. Participants will also practice using the ATSDR Brownfields/Land Reuse Site tool as well as the Dose Calculator to enter an inventory and evaluate the public health implications of exposures based on environmental sampling data.
- 1 PM to 5 PM: Hazardous Waste Program Inspections and Emergency Response – Dale Anderson and Rudy Mix, Gila River Indian Community, Department of Environmental Quality. In this session staff from the Gila River Indian Community will present information on how to conduct hazardous waste and chemical safety inspections. This will include what we have learned from our experience with program development, environmental law enforcement, safety, emergency response and other aspects of implementing USEPA and tribal programs. Information will include: (1) Common hazardous chemicals and where they are found; (2) How to identify chemicals, chemical wastes, and their hazards; (3) How to safely store chemicals and their wastes; (4) How to plan for and prevent chemical emergencies; (5) How to clean up chemicals when they spill or catch fire; (6) How to respond to chemical emergencies, spills, fires, explosions and other releases; (7) Personnel safety and sampling considerations; (8) EPA and tribal laws for site access and inspections; (9) How to conduct chemical waste and safety inspections; (10) Designing tribal waste laws and integrated waste management plans; (11) Practical examples and plans.
- 11 PM to 5 PM: Water Quality Monitoring Field Demonstration. This special training is currently under development by USEPA and tribal staff and will provide attendees the opportunity to observe sample collection procedures, handle and compare sampling equipment and collect water quality samples. We are not accepting signups for this training/field trip yet – more information will follow.
Tuesday, August 16
- 8 AM to 12 PM: Restoring the Carbon Nitrogen Balance of the Earth: Soil, Water, Species and Human Safety - Dr. John Todd, Professor Emeritus of University of Vermont, President of John Todd Ecological Design; Robert Gough, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy; Brian Thunderhawk, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Dr. David Benjamin, better Inc. Tribal, local knowledge, and the practice of validated ecological design and engineering have many and fruitful overlapping sets of know-how and protocols, with many successful, built examples. The presenters will provide brief lectures and hands on work with workshop participants, in a charrette type set-up, learnings on how to devise culturally relevant and effective infrastructure and building projects that exploit the fecund earth, water, sky, and species bounty of Native America for a safe and sustainable future in the face of climate change adaptation. Such planning and projects use the fantastic wealth of Native American landscape/seascape assets for providing secure and healthy food supplies, energy resources, environmental and future proofed compliance, while at the same time affording Tribal governments and tribal entrepreneurs ready, proven business opportunities for profitable industries for both domestic consumption and export to the United States.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: EPA Exchange Network & E-Enterprise for the Environment: A Special Information Sharing Event – Presenters from Tribes and the USEPA. This training and information sharing event will highlight success stories from several tribes in their implementation of Exchange Network projects to increase the capacity of their tribal water quality programs. A panel of tribal and USEPA staff experienced with the Exchange Network/E-Enterprise Program will also share their knowledge of, and ideas for, tribes interested in increasing their environmental program capacity utilizing EN/EE Program funds. Panel topics will include: (1) What do tribes stand to gain by participating in EN?; (2) What does USEPA stand to gain by tribes participating in EN?; (3) How do these complement each other?; (4) What resources are available to tribes?; (5) What types of support (funding, technical expertise, etc.) are available from USEPA?; (6) Ideas for collaboration w/ other tribes, states; (7) Tips for success & How to work effectively with USEPA staff.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: Training/Exercise on Response to Crude Oil by Rail Incidents – USEPA On-Scene Coordinators and Emergency Planners, as well as Specialists from other Agencies. This awareness level training is designed for Tribal officials involved in contingency planning, emergency management, environmental protection and public safety whose job functions may cause them to be involved in railroad accident response involving High Hazard Flammable Liquids (HHFTs) such as Bakken crude oil and ethanol. The training will be a customized version of an 8 hour version which is currently being presented at multiple venues in EPA Region 5, where audience sizes range from 50-200 participants. Participants have included Tribal, local non –Tribal, and state and federal response agencies. The training content includes modular presentations focused on: (1) Planning and preparedness, (2) Response regulations, (3) Incident management principles, (4) Response Organization, (5) Railroad Resources, Hazard Evaluation and Risk Assessment, (6) Operational Tactics and Strategies, (7) Personal Protective Equipment, (8) Public health and Worker safety, (9) post emergency environmental cleanup and monitoring, (10) Case studies of actual response to recent railroad crude oil events. The session will conclude with a simple tabletop exercise/panel discussion of response considerations relating to a hypothetical incident depicted in a video animation. This is designed with the intent to provide audience members with an opportunity to apply concepts emphasized in the modules.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: Best Management Approaches to Remediation – Steve Dyment, USEPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division. This training explores experiences and resulting best practices from extensive work at UST, Brownfields, and Superfund sites. Topics will include innovative analytical techniques, sampling strategies, best practices, and remediation technologies that can be applied at sites contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents or other constituents. Remediation technologies include those commonly performed at petroleum sites such as soil vapor extraction, air sparging, pump and treat, as well as more commonly used in situ technologies such as chemical oxidation and enhanced biological processes.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: Developing an EPA-Tribal Environmental Plans (ETEPs), a Step by Step Blueprint and Strategic Planning for Tribal Environmental Programs – Josh Simmons, Prosper Sustainability. The first half of this training will focus on developing an EPA-Tribal ETEP, which can help a tribe achieve its environmental and sustainability goals in the most effective, enduring manner possible. During this session, the presenter will describe what an ETEP is, where it came from, what its purpose is, and what it is supposed to include. The presenter will show a step-by-step process on how to prepare a living, adaptable ETEP and how this approach has been applied at multiple tribal environmental departments. It will also be explained how an ETEP can be used to produce GAP work plans on an ongoing basis, and how an ETEP can be used to guide all other environmental programs and initiatives. The second portion of the training will focus on developing and implementing a strategic plan, which is perhaps the most important and powerful activity that any organization can undertake. Effective strategic planning and management clarifies an organization’s highest goals, creates and maintains alignment with those goals, and optimizes resources. During this session, the presenter will describe the elements and process of developing and implementing a “living” strategic plan that is designed to be utilized on an ongoing basis to guide tribal environmental programs. It will be explained how a strategic plan can be linked to an EPA-Tribal ETEP in a seamless manner, resulting in system that will allow an environmental program to organize, track, and report objectives, performance metrics, resources, and other important information. The presenter will share examples of how these strategic planning tools and process has been applied at multiple tribal environmental departments.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: Communicating Water through Story, Presentation and Effective Messaging - Sarah Diefendorf, EFCWest. Communicating Water is designed to help Tribal Utility and Environmental Programs tell a better story and deliver a stronger message about the importance of protecting and conserving water. Participants will learn and practice new techniques and approaches to presenting the work they do to protect Tribal water resources. This workshop is designed to: a) improve participant's ability to turn dry numbers into a compelling story, and b) help students create the key elements of an effective messaging campaign so they can build their story and take it to the Tribal Community and Council. The workshop will be broken into the three following sessions: (1) Connecting with Others Through Story; (2) Crafting a Presentation That Inspires; (3) Framing Your Message. This session will include a group messaging exercise.
- 8 AM to 12 PM – Continued From Monday: Water & Wastewater Utility Operation, Maintenance and Management (CEUs Provided). Please refer to the training description above.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: FIELD TRIP to North Haven RCRA Site-Pharmacia & Upjohn Company facility. This site is Region 1’s flagship RCRA Corrective Action site. Components of the remedy include a pump and treat system, a one mile hydraulic barrier wall, in situ thermal remediation, and onsite soil/sediment management. The site-wide remedy allows for future redevelopment of the property’s west side for commercial or light industrial use; the restoration of more than 60 acres of wetlands and meadow habitat along the Quinnipiac River; and walking trails for guided viewing and interpretative environmental education.
- 8 AM to 12 PM: FIELD TRIP to Uncas Leap and Willimantic Whitewater Partnership sites. Uncas Leap Falls is a 1.2 acre parcel in Norwich, CT. The site overlooks the Yantic River and majestic Yantic Falls. It consists of a two-story granite mill building constructed in the 1830s, a one-story brick mill building, a gravel parking area and limited green space. The site has previously been utilized for the manufacturing of goods. The importance of Uncas Leap Falls is not just in the architectural character of its buildings, but in its significant contributions Sachem Uncas made to the Mohegan Tribe. The site has held a sacred place in the history of the Mohegan Tribe since 1648. The Willimantic Site is approximately 3.45 acres in size and currently contains one building, a former gas station. Past uses at the site include: a textile mill from 1820-1940; building materials salvage yard, including dismantling of stone mill buildings, until circa 1960; and a gasoline station/fuel oil depot/car wash from circa 1962 to circa 2002. Soil at the site is contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals. The Willimantic Whitewater Partnership group has played an integral role in remediating this site. The Willimantic Whitewater Partnership (WWP) is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to recapturing the waterfront of the Willimantic River. In particular, the Partnership seeks to increase safe access to the river for residents through the development of an urban waterfront park, restore fish passage through dam modification and in-stream habitat improvements, and establish the first public whitewater park in the region.
We will be continually updating this website, so be sure to check back often. We look forward to seeing you at the 2016 TLEF!