ATCEM Awards 2004
Communities that had nominees for an award in 2004:
Chief Merrill Herbert Moses, Traditional
Lucy Strassberg and Harold David Sr., EPA Staff
Allakaket Tribal Council
Nominated by: Harold David Sr., EPA Coordinator, Allakaket Tribe
Chief M. Herbert Moses started cleaning up the streets by signing a resolution and monitoring the progress of covering the landfill with gravel so the birds and small mammals do not scatter debris and spread diseases. He also helped the community to start recycling cans and lead acid batteries.
EPA staff Lucy Strassberg and Harold David, Sr. have worked with local airlines to transport recyclables out of the village. A storage shed is also being finished for recycled cans. The village stores will be getting a notice to ban the use of plastic bags, plastic cups, and plates. Chief Moses is in the process of getting all white goods, old abandoned vehicles, snow machines, and hazardous materials into storage or be shipped to be disposed of properly. He is also helping to get running water in the homes of Elders. With Chief Moses’ and the EPA staff’s help, this program will definitely make the community a cleaner and healthier place to live.
Akiachak Native Community/Akiachak IRA Council
Nominated by: Joe Sarcone, Rural Sanitation Coordinator, U.S. EPA 10, AK Operations
Eric Phillip has been the EPA Director for the Akiachak Native Community for less than one year, but his contribution has been great. Eric, with direction from his supervisor Tribal Administrator, George Peter, energized the village with his work to bring the dump site under control. Eric, working in cooperation with other members of the village, cleaned up the current dump site, prepared the site for closure, and started plans for a new dump site, including an access road to the new site. People in Akiachak can see the difference and are happy to have improved solid waste management due in large part to Eric’s efforts.
The Community of Eek
Eek Traditional & City Councils
Nominated by: Malcolm Ford, Assistant Professor, UAF Water and Environmental Resource Center
The community of Eek, Eek Traditional Council, Eek City Council and the Eek School has a five-year history of working with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks to develop a greater understanding of traditional water source and drinking water storage; information that benefits other remote communities in Alaska. Most recently they embarked on a three-year partnership with the University to research ways in which drinking water sanitation can be improved. Work will comprise of four graduate studies focusing on:
- Pathogen survival and transmittance in the Arctic.
- In-home sanitation, including methods to optimize private water tank chlorination and alternate disinfection methods.
During the summer of 2004, Eek leaders and families were wonderful - completing surveys, and inviting us into their community to complete extensive surface water and transportation route testing that is already paying dividends in terms of understanding how human pathogens (sickness causing bacteria, viruses and protozoa) are transported in the village environment.
In June and August of 2004, community members allowed us to sample vehicles, family dogs, boardwalks outside homes, even boots as we worked to gain an early picture of pathogen transportation routes during summer months. Eek’s patience and commitment to addressing sensitive human/environmental sanitation issues makes them a worthy candidate for recognition by the Conference.
Director, Environmental Health Director
Tanana Chiefs Conference
Nominated by: Joe Sarcone, Rural Sanitation Coordinator, U.S. EPA 10, AK Operations
Pete Wallis has worked with villages to improve public
health in rural
Alaska for nearly two decades. He has worked with villages in both the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) and Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) service areas. In Alaska he has been a member of countless rural sanitation workgroups and advisory committees including the Rural Alaska Sanitation Coalition (RASC). In addition to Pete's service in Alaska he has also worked with tribes in the lower 48, and on assignments in Thailand, Guam, and Iraq. As Pete readies himself for retirement, we acknowledge his dedicated service to all people, but especially the people of rural Alaska.
Billy Jean Stewart
Nominated by: Julia Dorris, Tribal President, Native Village of Kalskag
Billy Jean Stewart was nominated for the Environmental Awards by the Upper Kalskag Traditional Council because of her hard work, dedication, and taking seriously her job to better the community of Upper Kalskag. Outside of her job she is an aspiring community leader who is not afraid to speak up or volunteer for anything in the village.
Our community is and looks a lot cleaner because of Billy Jean’s efforts. Lots of times villages have old barrels laying around the village. She gathered these and had the kids in the community paint the barrels and put them around the village for trash bins. They are eye-catching and colorful. This is a very good tactic to keep in our minds that we should keep our village clean and make use of the barrels for trash, rather than letting them litter up the village.
Rachel Igkurak, BIRCH AmeriCorps member
Emma Kiunya, IGAP Technician
Kwigillingok Environmental Service Department (KESD)
Nominated by: Richard John,
KC Unit 7 Coordinator, AVCP, Inc.
William Igkurak, Utilities and Facilities Director, Kwigillingok IRA Council, Kwigillingok Power Company, and Roland J. Lewis, Social Services Director, Native Village of Kwigillingok
The Native Village of Kwigillingok is fortunate to have two exceptionally dedicated Kwigillingok Environmental Service Department (KESD) employees: Rachel Igkurak, BIRCH AmeriCorps member and Emma Kiunya, IGAP Technician. Without these two dedicated, inspiring and hard-working individuals, the community of Kwigillingok would not be as environmentally healthy.
As the saying goes, “Stay cool and calm on top and paddle like crazy at the bottom.” Emma and Rachel have certainly done that in making plans for annual events and activities such as:
- Annual Clean Up Green Up—Organized from start to finish, with prizes.
- Participation in Community Meetings—Teaching the community how to dispose of used batteries properly, and addressing other issues that can have destructive effects on our surrounding environment and individual health.
- Elders and Youth Workshop—It was a success! SUPER!
- Monthly Newsletters—Lots of good, helpful, and useful information.
- They persuaded contractors not to leave trash behind at barge landings.
- They taught a hazardous materials wellness awareness program at our local school.
- A cultural values workshop by the BIRCH AmeriCorps Program was invaluable to our youth.
For the positive effects of this program on our community, it is very important for it to keep going. Future funds must be secured by any means for the sake of our health and for our future generations to enjoy what we are enjoying now.
Nominated by: Michael Munger, Executive Director, Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC)
Ephim Anahonak has worked to improve oil spill prevention and response in Port Graham. Mr. Anahonak assisted CIRCAC with its Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) Program in Southeastern Cook Inlet. GRS’s are oil spill response plans tailored to protect specific sensitive areas from oil impacts following a spill. These response plans are map-based strategies that can save time during the first few hours of an oil spill response. They show responders where sensitive areas are located and where to place oil spill protection resources.
Mr. Anahonak, who has hunted and fished in the area for years, participated in the site selection process helping to identify 22 remote locations for GRS development. Using local knowledge, Mr. Anahonak named many places unidentified on topographical charts, indicating where important tribal resources were located, and he described various sea states responders may encounter during the year. His insight was critical in developing these spill response plans.
CIRCAC appreciates Mr. Anahonak’s contribution to the GRS process and commitment to working hard to protect traditional and sensitive resources.
Edwin Albrite, Hageland Airlines
David Daniel, Grant Airlines Airline Agents
Nominated by: Susan Pleasant, Secretary/ Bookkeeper, Tuntutuliak Tribal Council-EPA
Edwin Albrite with Hageland Aviation and David Daniel with Grant Aviation have shown an interest in keeping Tuntutuliak’s environment clean and healthy by getting our many bags of aluminum cans out to Bethel for recycling. If they didn’t help us get them out we would probably not get them to the recycling center!