National Tribal Water Council dealing with water quality issues for American and Alaskan native tribes

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National Tribal Water Council

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Brief bios are provided for the following:  
Regional Representatives
Daniel Kusnierz – Penobscot Indian Nation – Region 1
René Rickard –Tuscarora Nation /Haudenosaunee Envt’l. Task Force – Region 2
Michael Bolt [Vice-Chair]  Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - Region 4
Nancy Schuldt – Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa  – Region 5
Nancy John –Cherokee Nation – Region 6
Denise Jensen – Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska – Region 7
Carlyle Ducheneaux – Cheyenne River Sioux - Region 8
Ken Norton – Hoopa Valley Tribe – NTWC Chair & Region 9
Daniel Chythlook – Aleknagik Traditional Council – Region 10
At-Large Representatives
Alex Cabillo – Hualapai Tribe
Dave Fuller – Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Phillip Cernera - Coeur d'Alene Tribe
Kathleen Brosemer Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Shaun Livermore - Poarch Creek Indians

Eric Morrison - Douglas Indian Association

 

 
Daniel Kusnierz – Penobscot Indian Nation – Region 1
Daniel Kusnierz, Water Resources Program Manager for the Penobscot Nation, has served the Nation for seventeen years, developing an understanding of the cultural importance of the Penobscot River to the Nation while refining his own technical skills. He has developed a watershed-wide water quality monitoring program with more than 95 weekly-sampling locations, set up a laboratory, and conducted investigations of toxic contaminants (including dioxins, furans, PCBs and mercury), and their impact on the aquatic environment. His expertise also includes investigations of algal blooms and nutrients, biomonitoring using aquatic insects, and assessing and controlling nonpoint source pollution and biological/ecological assessment of wetlands. Daniel uses the water quality data for permitting, licensing and affecting policy change. Daniel can be reached by e-mail at dan.kusnierz@ penobscotnation.org, or by telephone at (207) 817-7361.
René Rickard – Tuscarora Nation /Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force – Region 2
René Rickard, Tuscarora, serves as the Tuscarora Administrator for the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force (HETF). She is responsible for contributing to a culturally-based environmental protection process that is consistent with traditional Haudenosaunee values. Her expertise lies in the areas of water quality and solid waste. René is known for her innovative and creative skills in planning, developing and addressing the environmental concerns of the Tuscarora Nation, and for her excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including her ability to build consensus. René can be reached via e-mail at rrickard@hetf.org or by telephone at (716) 609-3810.
Michael Bolt – Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians– Region 4 (NTWC Vice-Chair)
Michael Bolt, Vice-Chair of the National Tribal Water Council, has served as Tribal Water Quality Section Supervisor for the Eastern Band of Cherokee for 11 years, following employment with Western Carolina University. He is responsible for the Tribe’s §106 water quality standards program, monitoring and reporting for biological assessment, and is engaged in community education and outreach.  Michael is also responsible for the Tribe’s NPDES permit monitoring and reporting, and the maintenance of the Tribe’s certified lab. In the past year, he has taken USEPA training courses in NPDES compliance inspections and NPDES permit writing. He is state- and Tribally-licensed as a water/wastewater operator and laboratory analyst, and is certified for wastewater residuals land application and wastewater spray irrigation. He represents the Eastern Band of Cherokee in hydropower re-licensing matters, including the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Cooperative Stakeholder Teams, and the Cheoah and Tallassee Fund Boards. Michael represents the NTWC on the Mississippi/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force and is a former member of the National EPA-Tribal Science Council. Michael can be reached via e-mail at michbolt@nc-cherokee.com, or by telephone at (828) 554-6772.
Nancy Schuldt – Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa – Region 5
Nancy Schuldt serves as the Fond du Lac Water Projects Coordinator. Her water quality monitoring and quality assurance plans were critical to the finalization of Tribal water quality standards, and provided a model for other EPA Region 5 Tribes entering similar phases of their own water projects. She directed research into fish contaminants and sediment chemistry to characterize mercury impacts to Fond du Lac Band members, participates in numerous local and regional working groups to ensure the tribal perspective is represented, and initiated a cooperative wastewater management project with the non-tribal community to protect Big Lake, a heavily developed lake on the Reservation. She is also responsible for the tribe’s nonpoint source management program, and environmental review of mining and energy industry impacts to trust resources. Nancy can be reached via e-mail at nancyschuldt@fdlrez.com, or by telephone at 218-878-7110.
Nancy John – Cherokee Nation – Region 6

Nancy John, (Muscogee/Choctaw), serves as Director of Cherokee Nation Environmental Programs and the 42-member Inter-Tribal Environmental Council. She is responsible for the strategic administrative and programmatic management of the Cherokee Nation Clean Water Program, including water monitoring, baseline assessments, community planning, and Smart Growth initiatives. She oversees the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council’s Regional Training Program, including water sampling methods training.  Nancy is a Registered Sanitarian and Registered Environmental Specialist, with Oklahoma State licenses in both areas. She is currently participating in the development of model Tribal Water Quality Standards for Tribes in Oklahoma, National Tribal Operations Committee, Regional Tribal Operations Committee and has participated on the Tribal Environmental Indicator Systems workgroup, Chemical and Pesticides Results Measures workgroup, National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Tribal Work Group and Forum on States and Tribal Toxics Action/Tribal Affairs Project. Nancy can be reached via e-mail at Nancy-John@cherokee.org or by telephone at (918) 453-5102.

 

Denise Jensen – Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska – Region 7

Denise Jensen has served as the Water Quality Specialist for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska for 9 years. She was born in Sioux City, Iowa, currently resides in Iowa, and has one son.  Denise was enlisted in the Army Reserves for 12 years and served in Desert Storm.  She has an Associates Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology and a Bachelors Degree in Biology with a Minor in Political Science.  Accomplishments include the preparation of the Tribe’s Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Chemical Assessment of Surface Water, Fish Tissue and Sediments, the Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Physical and Biological Assessment of Surface Water and the Quality Assurance Project Plan for Ground Water/Domestic Drinking Water Well Assessment.  Denise has established an extensive surface water monitoring program, generating physical, chemical and biological data, conducted fish tissue collection from several recreational fishing bodies and monitored individual domestic drinking water wells on the Winnebago Reservation.  She alss serves as a Tribal Representative on the National EPA-Tribal Science Council and State and Tribal Climate Change Council in her region. Denise can be reached via e-mail at: winnewater@huntel.net or by telephone at (402) 878-4060 Ext: 1002.
Carlyle Ducheneaux – Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe– Region 8
Carlyle Ducheneaux, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, serves as the Tribe’s Water Quality Coordinator.  He works with sixteen communities and five municipalities on his 2,850,000 acre reservation. Carlyle is familiar with all the necessary field work required for his position, including water, soil, fish, macroinvertebrate, periphyton and air sampling, as well as habitat assessment and human blood sampling re mercury contamination. In his former positions as NPDES and Superfund Coordinator, he helped establish permits for the entire reservation, participated in an NRDA case in which the Tribe won. According to an EPA Region 8 Director, Carlyle “has turned a good 106 program into a great program” and is “the top tribal expert on mercury in Region 8”. Carlyle can be reached via e-mail at cducheneaux@crstepd.org, or by telephone at (605) 964-6558.
Ken Norton – Hoopa Valley Tribe – Region 9 (NTWC Chair)
Ken Norton, Chair of the National Tribal Water Council, is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and serves as the Director of the Hoopa Valley Tribal Environmental Protection Agency. Ken has expertise in water quality and the development of water quality standards. He is also a fisheries expert, understanding the water quality needs of healthy salmon and other river life, and experienced in watershed restoration. As TEPA Director, Ken oversees an array of Tribal water programs, as well as other tribal environmental programs (such as superfund, brownfields, air, pesticides, lead and solid waste). Between 2004 and 2009, Ken served as the Vice-Chair of the National Tribal Operations Committee and as the NTOC Tribal Caucus Lead for Water Issues. Ken can be reached at kenpnorton@gmail.com or at (530) 625-5515, ext. 303.
Daniel Chythlook – Aleknagik Traditional Council – Region 10
Daniel Chythlook, an enrolled member of the Aleknagik Traditional Council (Yu’pik), serves as the Tribe’s Environmental Program Manager. Daniel wrote the quality assurance project plan for the Nushagak/Mulchatna Watershed Council. He is experienced in water quality and aquatic bio-assessment monitoring, and trains environmental staff for other Alaska Native Tribes. Daniel is involved with global warming issues, and the impacts that the tourism industry and large-scale mining development have on Tribal water quality and fisheries. He serves on the Lower Nushagak River Technical Advisory Committee for Water Quality Assessment and on the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Steering Committee for the Nushagak River Watershed Traditional Use Area. Daniel can be reached by e-mail at aleknagiktraditional@starband.net or by telephone at (907) 842-4407.
Alex Cabillo – Hualapai Tribe – At-Large
Alex Cabillo, an enrolled Hualapai Tribal member, has a Bachelor or Arts degree in Psychology from Cal State Sacramento. Alex served as a Tribal Council member for four years. Past employment includes U.S. Marine Corps Military Police, Correctional Officer, Police Officer, and Public Works Director for the Hualapai Tribe with management and oversight of the municipal water and wastewater systems. Alex has worked on Hualapai water resource preservation and conservation issues for over a decade. He currently serves the Hualapai Tribe as Manager of the Water Resource Program within the Department of Natural Resources, supervising three staff employees. Alex and his staff are responsible for monitoring groundwater and surface water, wellhead protection and wetlands with a focus of no net loss of wetland acreage. A major area of concern is climate change (drought) in his arid southwest homeland, and adaptation to climate change is a primary focus. Alex can be reached via e-mail at acabillo@hotmail.com or by phone at (928) 769-2254.
DAVID FULLER – PORT GAMBLE S’KLALLAM TRIBE
Dave Fuller, Hydrogeologist/Water Resources Manager (since 1991), has written, managed and executed environmental grants for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s Natural Resources Department and, prior to that, the Suquamish Tribe. He has expertise in groundwater resources and protection, Tribal surface water quality standards, surface water and wetlands monitoring and management, wellhead and drinking water protection and toxic landfill cleanup. Dave is frequently called on for technical expertise on Tribal, state and regional water resources and watershed councils. He represented Western Washington Tribes on the Washington State Hydraulic Continuity (the link between groundwater and surface water) Technical Advisory Committee.   He represents the NTWC on the National Water Quality Monitoring Council, the State Tribal Climate Change Council, and the Subcommittee on Ground Water for the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI).  Dave is licensed as a geologist and hydrogeologist in State of Washington and is licensed as a geologist in California. In previous lifetimes, Dave worked for the California Department of Water Resources, the California Geological Survey and two counties in Minnesota on water quality issues. Dave is best reached via e-mail atdfuller@pgst.nsn.us, or by telephone at (360) 297-6323.
Steve Crawford – Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point – At-Large
Steve Crawford has served as the Passamaquoddy Tribe's Environmental Director since 2003. He is knowledgeable about methyl mercury contamination in freshwater and marine fish, impacts of acid rain on Northeastern Tribal waters, and water sampling for phytoplankton and zooplankton. He is very active in Climate change issues pertaining to Tribal environments and community health.  He has surveyed and monitored marine invasive species in the Gulf of Maine since 1995. Since 2003, he has monitored water quality (including chlorophyll α, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen) in Passamaquoddy Bay, the Western Passage of the Bay of Fundy, and Cobscook Bay to determine their impacts on salmon culture. He previously designed, built and operated the largest catfish producing farm in Oklahoma, and was the first to commercially culture the Japanese seaweed "nori" in the Western North Atlantic. Steve can be reached via e-mail atstevecrawford@wabanaki.com or by telephone at (207) 853-2600, ext. 238.
Phillip Cernera – Coeur d’Alene Tribe – At Large
Phillip Cernera has worked almost 30 years in the technical/scientific/legal field of water-related issues in Indian Country. Early in his Tribal career, he evaluated Salmon life history and habitat in an effort to best understand how to restore fisheries habitat severely impacted by mining in the Salmon River drainage. His work included fisheries evaluations, water quality analysis, and environmental engineering and restoration. He has been intimately involved in a FERC hydro-relicensing process for more than 10 years. As Manager of the Coeur d’Alene Tribes Natural Resource Damages Assessment project, the largest NRDA in the nation, Phillip managed/participated in over 30 studies regarding mining impacts on groundwater, surface water, fish, wildlife, vegetation, soils and sediment, and other biota, including a Tribal human health assessment. He also managed the development of evidence necessary for NRDA litigation. As the Director of the Tribes Lake Management Department, he oversees the work of highly qualified staff. He has also taught graduate classes in aquatic pollution and frequently presents at water law symposia. Phillip can be reached by e-mail atphilc@cdatribe-nsn.govor by telephone at (208) 686-1800
Irving Ashenfelter – Native Village of White Mountain – At Large
Irving Ashenfelter, an enrolled member of the Native Village of White Mountain (Inupiat/Eskimo), helps to address the priorities of the Indian General Assistance Program (IGAP) in the Native Village of White Mountain. The IGAP determined that documentation of Fish River water quality should be a community priority due to community and Tribal Council concerns about uranium exploration drilling in and around Fish River’s headwaters. Irving, trained by IGAP coordinator Eric Morris, began training and preliminary testing in the fall of 2007. In 2008, official testing took place on six pre-selected sites, expanding to include not only the Fish River, but also the Niukluk River and Etchepuk River. Irving has basic knowledge and data gathering experience as to water quality, including the calibration/operation of a Hanna Meter, proper mixing and handling the chemistry process of dissolved oxygen and nitrates, and identifying the microorganisms that contribute to the health of a river. Irving can be reached by e-mail atwmo.igap@gmail.com or by telephone at (907) 638-3651.
Kathleen Brosemer – Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe
Kathleen Brosemer, Echota Cherokee of Alabama, has a Bachelor’s degree in geology with a concentration in hydrogeology. Her academic background includes a thesis and internship in wetland hydrology and mapping, postgraduate research in hydrologic controls on biogeochemical cycling in wetlands, including water chemistry and microbiology, and rare earth element cycling in anoxic water (a marker for cadmium contamination). She has taught microbiology of wastewater at the university-level. Prior to accepting her current position as Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe’s Environmental Program Manager, Kathie worked for the Ontario Métis Association, gathering evidence for the Association’s participation in public hearings on hydropower and other electric power generation impacts on environment and public health. Committed to the protection of human health as well as the environment, she has also waged community public education campaigns about how to take care of lake water quality to prevent cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) blooms in shallow inland lakes. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at kbrosemer@saulttribe.net or by telephone at  906-635-6050.
Shaun Livermore – Poarch Creek Indians – At Large
Shaun Livermore is a Certified Grade II Water Operator and Certified Grade II Wastewater Operator working for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Utilities Authority. Shaun monitors what is in the drinking water as well as what is being discharged into local waters from the wastewater treatment plant. Shaun performs tests daily and evaluates test results that are run at independent labs to ensure that health and resources are not compromised on the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Reservation. The majority of his expertise is focused on groundwater, but he is also aware of potential contaminates and intake problems for water treatment that can be introduced by hydropower projects. He pays particular attention to rural agricultural threats, such as pesticides and other ground-applied chemicals. Shaun has helped design water and wastewater expansions and is in the process of completing a Drafting and Design degree that emphasizes GIS and mapping. Shaun can be reached by e-mail at slivermore@pci-nsn.gov or by telephone at (251) 446-1617.

 

 

How did the Council members get appointed?

Interim Council:

As required by the cooperative agreement with EPA, the National Tribal Water Council started out with an Interim Council, then a full Council.

 

In January, 2007, the NTWC Project Manager and Project Administrator sought nominations for a five-member Interim Council. There were sixteen (16) nominees from five different EPA regions, in addition to Ken Norton (Hoopa Valley Tribe – Region 9), who had already agreed to serve on the Council. The nominee pool was very impressive. After reviewing the nominations, and the input provided by each nominee, a geographically diverse group of skilled tribal water professionals was appointed.

 

While developing the Interim Council By-Laws (subsequently amended and affirmed by the full Council), the Interim Council determined that the Council should have at least one member from each EPA Region that has federally-recognized Tribes within its boundaries, and six at-large members, for a total of 15 members.

 

 
 

 

Full Council:

 

 
On July 2nd and 3rd, 2007, the project manager and project administrator sent letters to 550 Tribal government leaders, seeking nominations. The letters informed tribal leaders that:
 
“We are seeking nominations for the National Tribal Water Council (NTWC). The NTWC is a technical/ scientific body created to provide input to the EPA, and to advocate for and assist tribes by providing information regarding water-related issues. The NTWC is not a policy-making body, and its input is not a substitute for government-to-government consultation.”
 
The criteria for Council nominees included:
1.    Vocational/ professional background and hands-on water-related expertise in Indian Country, including Alaska Native Villages.
2.    Employed by a federally-recognized Tribe or tribally-authorized organization, and have the support/ consent of her/ his employer to participate on the NTWC.
3.    Willing/able to provide oral/written scientific and, as appropriate, culturally- based input on water-related issues confronting Indian and Alaska Native Tribes.
4.    Willing/able to review and discuss water-related issues in Indian Country with a perspective that will enhance the efforts of the NTWC, EPA, Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Tribes to improve the health and safety of Tribal communities.
5.    Willing/able to faithfully participate in monthly conference calls and two (2) regularly scheduled annual meetings of the NTWC.”
 
A similar message was sent to Tribal Caucus members of the National Tribal Operations Committee (NTOC), 74 EPA Regional Tribal Program Staff, and over 200 Tribal environmental staff via e-mail. Tribal environmental staff were asked to forward the information to fellow Tribal environmental professionals whose e-mail addresses might not be known . The project manager and administrator extended the deadline for nominations from August 6 to August 13, and accommodated individual Tribal requests for further brief deadline extensions.
 
The list of nominees, including their nominators and a summary of their professional technical water experience and tribal expertise, was subsequently forwarded to the Interim Council and the EPA Office of Water for input. Based on that input, new Council members were invited to serve beginning late August, 2007.

~ For more information about the development of the NTWC, please see "A Brief History of the NTWC" on this website's About the Council page.

 

  

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