Environmental Services

Environmental Services

Ambient Air Monitoring

Environmental Services Division Air Monitoring Project

Project is a Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 103 Cooperative Agreement between Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Environental Services Division and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Project Objectives/Activities:

  1. Sault Ste. Marie Air Monitoring Project – To monitor for an array of ambient air pollution; including Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Ozone, and Haze. Meteorological data is also collected. This datas is collected to assess the local conditions and the impacts of emissions sources in the area.
  2. Tribal Education and Outreach – Make available real-time ambient air quality conditions as well as historical ambient air quality information.
  3. Tribal Assistance – Assisting Tribes in the state of Michigan with air quality issues/problems. Assistance with Emission Inventory development and air program development as well.

Project Staff include: Travis Maki, Dwight Sargent, and Greg Shubel.

New Source Review

Chris Kushman

Sanitarian

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan (ITCMI) currently employs a Tribal sanitarian or environmental health specialist. With ITCMI since 1999, Tom Sutter has worked in this capacity since 2002, and since 2006 has been a Registered Sanitarian (R.S.), accredited through the National Environmental Health Association.

In general, sanitarians work to prevent or minimize the impact from environmental health issues by evaluating programs and facilities for compliance with relevant health and safety regulations and occurrence of potential environmental health hazards. Regular duties may include: surveying public facilities (i.e. water and sewer systems, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and swimming pools) for compliance with applicable regulations, codes, or ordinances; investigating disease outbreaks, chemical exposures, and public health nuisances and emergencies; and providing technical assistance and information to members of the general public to assist them in dealing with health and safety issues.

More specifically, ITCMI sanitarians conduct annual health and safety surveys of public facilities and programs on tribal lands. The purpose of surveys is to identify potential environmental health and safety issues and recommend potential corrective actions for minimizing or eliminating health and safety risks altogether. Applicable federal health and safety regulations are used as a basis for conducting facility surveys. Facilities regularly surveyed include:

  • Hotels
  • Casinos
  • Swimming pools
  • Schools and similar educational institutions
  • Head Start facilities
  • Public playgrounds
  • Campgrounds, RV Parks
  • Health Centers
  • Elder care and assisted living facilities
  • Office spaces and community buildings
  • Restaurants, markets, and other food establishments (including powwows and other temporary food events)

After each facility survey or evaluation ITCMI sanitarians will issue a detailed report summarizing the results. Reports are advisory in nature, based on applicable federal guidelines, and offer a recommended corrective action and time frame for resolution of issues observed during the survey. This report is then sent to the appropriate tribal officials so that the recommendations can be resolved to reduce the risk of injury or illness.

Food safety issues and related activities comprise a significant component of the regular work load. Biannual food safety evaluations based on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Model Food Code are recommended for all permanent and temporary tribal food establishments. Additionally, we offer to conduct plan reviews for new and remodeled food establishments for adherence to National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards. Moreover, ITCMI Environmental Health Specialists offers diverse training opportunities for food service workers. Tom Sutter is presently a certified ServSafe Instructor and offers the 16-Hour ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification course to tribal employees. We also offer a basic food safety short course for all tribal members and employees who do not require certification as a Food Protection Manager, but are still potentially working with food.

In addition to facility surveys and training, ITCMI Environmental Health Specialists are regularly called upon to offer technical assistance to tribes when dealing with a variety of health and safety issues. Indoor air pollutant assessments (including for mold and associated water damage), cross connection surveys, and sanitary surveys of public water systems are some of the regular duties carried out by ITCMI Sanitarians in this regard.

Environmental Health Specialists with ITCMI are qualified to assist tribes with other environmental matters. Tom Sutter has extensive experience in implementing United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) protocols for identifying and delineating wetlands. Furthermore, his background includes conducting functional assessments and bioassessments of wetland habitats. Environmental Health Specialists also regularly attend and participate in Tribal Safety Committee meetings; set up and assist in the operation of Tribal rabies clinics; assist in the implementation of solid waste management plans and recycling programs; provide various training opportunities to tribal employees (e.g. OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen training and OSHA Hazard Communication training), and offer respirator fit testing for Tribal staff.

Source Water Protection

Contact

Travis Maki, tmaki@itcmi.org

Tribal Energy Capacity Project

The Michigan Tribal Energy Capacity Project assists participating Tribes in addressing the natural resource impacts of existing and proposed electric generation and fuels development in Michigan.

The Project works to further the development and actual implementation of alternative energy and energy conservation programs for participating Tribes.

Tribal Climate Change Projects

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan facilitates climate change projects among participating Tribes in Michigan, to proactively assess and plan for changes in climate for the protection of tribal natural and cultural resources.  The final report for the 2015-2016 Tribal Climate Change Project and project summary are available below.  For more information, contact Robin Clark  Environmental Specialist, or Bill Bernier  Environmental Technician, at 906-632-6896.

Underground Storage Tank Program

Direct Implementation Tribal Cooperative Agreement (DITCA) Underground Storage Tank Compliance Assistance, funded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This project allows ITCMI Environmental Services Department to provide direct assistance to the owners and operators of underground storage tanks (fuel service stations), to ensure that RCRA Subtitle I is fully implemented in Indian Country. The environmental specialist travels to the stations located within the exterior boundaries of the reservations, and provides education and recommendations to make sure the station is following the federal regulations for underground storage tanks. These site visits include a check for proper record keeping, as well as a physical inspection of the equipment on-site.

Goal

Have all the federally regulated sites located in Indian Country to be in significant operational compliance (SOC) with the federal regulations.

Goal

Further protect the groundwater in Indian Country by having the stations in compliance with the federal regulations, and not leaking petroleum products into the ground.

Compliance Assistance DITCA

Through the use of a direct implementation tribal cooperative agreement (DITCA), compliance assistance is provided to the owners/operators of regulated underground storage tanks systems (USTS) to ensure that RCRA Subtitle I is fully implemented in Indian Country. The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Inc. Environmental Services Division (MITC ESD) offers compliance assistance to all regulated UST owners and operators, both fee land and trust facilities, that are located within the reservation boundaries of the participating tribes (Bay Mills Indian Community, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Hannahville Indian Community, Lac Vieux Desert Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community). There are currently thirty five (35) regulated facilities located within the boundaries of the participating tribal reservations. MITC ESD visits each regulated UST facility at least once a year to offer compliance assistance services. By providing compliance assistance, the Tribes can not only be re-assured protection of their groundwater, but also be prepared before EPA conducts an inspection of their facility.

Greg Shubel
Geologist/Environmental Specialist
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Inc.
Environmental Services Division
2956 Ashmun St. Suite A
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Phone: 906.632.6896 ext 117
Fax: 906.635.4212
Email: gshubel@itcmi.org

Wetlands

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan has assisted tribes in the past with developing wetland inventories on tribal lands and conducting jurisdictional wetland delineations on properties slated for development. ITC Environmental Services staff members have also aided tribes in wetland permitting issues and mapping of tribal wetland areas using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Contact Dwight Sargent, Environmental Services Division Director with questions about how ITC can assist tribes with specific wetland issues.

Environmental Staff

Dwight Sargent, Environmental Service Director
Greg Shubel, Geologist/Environmental Specialist Travis Maki, Air Quality Specialist
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Robin Clark, Environmental Specialist Bill Bernier, Environmental Specialist
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