Category: Environmental Programs
Underground Injection Control
Funded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
This DITCA will generate an inventory of facilities that may be regulated under 40 CFR Part 144 (UIC regulations) and are located within the exterior boundaries of the participating tribes. The inventory will consist of a completed spreadsheet listing the facilities identified. Facilities that could generally pose the greatest threat to groundwater would be identified first, followed by the remaining regulated facilities. A map will be provided with sufficient detail to locate each of the identified facilities. The inventory information will initially be sent to each participating Tribes Environmental or Natural Resources Office, and then be entered by U.S. EPA into a Class V inventory review database to be used for planning follow-up inspections by the UIC inspector while conducting outreach and compliance inspection activities.
Water and Air Quality
ITCMI Environmental Services assists tribes with source water protection, watershed management planning, indoor and ambient air assessments, and water and air permitting issues. Contact our staff with questions about how we can assist with water and air quality issues.
Underground Storage Tank Program
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 compliance inspector 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.
There are currently thirty five (37) regulated facilities located within the boundaries of the participating tribal reservations. The compliance inspector visits each regulated UST facility at least once every three years. Compliance assistance is offered to all participating Tribes when requested. By providing compliance assistance, the Tribes can not only be re-assured protection of their groundwater, but also be prepared before EPA or other credentialed inspector conducts an inspection of their facility.
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
Environmental Health and Services
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.
Currently, 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:
- 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.
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 Sanitarians offer diverse training opportunities for food service workers. Bill Bernier is a certified ServSafe Instructor and offers the 8-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.
Forest & Wetlands
ITCMI Environmental Services assists tribes with forest and wetland inventory, delineation, management planning and permitting, with an emphasis on tribal cultural resources and traditional knowledges, to enhance forest health and productivity. For more information, contact our staff.
ITCMI Environmental Services facilitates climate adaptation efforts to assess and plan for climate-driven change, with the goals of protecting and enhancing tribal natural and cultural resources and ways of life. For more information, contact our staff.
Lead Testing in Drinking Water - Childcare Facilities
With funding made available by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through Section 1459A of the Safe Drinking Water Act, ITCMI, in collaboration with IHS, is undertaking the testing of Tribal schools and childcare facilities for lead contaminated drinking water. ITCMI and IHS will provide lead testing to participating schools/childcare facilities based on prioritization of facilities which serve more vulnerable populations (under age of six) and based on the age of infrastructure at facilities that are likely to contain lead plumbing or lead-containing fixtures.
Through this program ITCMI will implement the EPA’s 3Ts guidance as the method to:
1) Communicate, throughout the implementation of the program, the results and important lead information to the public, parents, teachers, and Tribal community;
(2) Train on the risks of lead in drinking water and testing for lead, as well as developing key partnerships to support the program;
(3) Test using appropriate testing protocols and a certified laboratory; and
(4) Take Action, including the development of a plan for responding to results of testing conducted and addressing potential elevated lead where necessary.
For more information regarding the Water Infrastructure Improvements of the Nation (WIIN) Act please visit https://www.epa.gov/tribaldrinkingwater/wiin-act-section-2107-lead-testing-school-and-child-care-program-drinking-water or contact:
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan