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Newsletter #33 for October 12, 2016
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Tribal Input Needed on Federal Infrastructure Decisions

In the wake of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision, the Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and other federal agencies are seeking tribal input on how infrastructure project decisions "can better allow for timely and meaningful tribal input," particularly as it relates to the following questions: 
  1. Within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights?
  2. Should new legislation be proposed to congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals?
Tribal leaders have been invited to participate in consultation sessions beginning October 25 and continuing until late November. A framing paper with additional details on the questions and a description of the current statutory framework is under development. 

Click here for more information on the consultation sessions. 

Events for Tribal Water Systems

Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management 
October 24-28 | Anchorage, Alaska
Hosted by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium 

This annual gathering brings together tribes, non-profits, and state and federal organizations for a week of environmental conversations. The discussions focus on finding and implementing solutions to address the unique environmental concerns facing Alaskan communities. | Click here for more information.

Biological Wastewater Treatment Process Control and Troubleshooting
October 26-27 | Olympia, Washington

Hosted by Indian Health Service 

This two-day training provides instruction on the purpose and function of basic membrane batch reactors [MBR] and sequencing batch reactors [SBR] for wastewater treatment. Operators will also be provided tools to troubleshoot problems and learn how to establish a facility-specific process control strategy. | Click here for more information.

Drought Preparedness
November 2 | Temecula, California 
Hosted by California Rural Water Association and the California Department of Water Resources 

This no-cost workshop is targeted to small communities and rural, disadvantaged systems. It is beneficial for water operators and system managers of private, public, and tribal systems. Click here for more information.

Tribal Utilities Role in Fire Protection–Operation and Maintenance Issues and Safe Drinking Water Act 
November 9-11 | Las Vegas, Nevada 
Hosted by the Native American Water Association 

This two-and-a half-day class will cover community fire protection Issues, developing and maintaining a working contingency program and operational maintenance and math reviews. Click here for more information.
Want to find additional training opportunities for operators,
including events in your area?
Search the Training Calendar

Featured Resource

Drinking Water Quality in Indian Country: Protecting Your Sources
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

This 4-page factsheet provides guidance about source water protection along with additional resources for tribes. 

Click here to download.
Have a different question?
You can find thousands of helpful resources in our database.
Search the Document Database

In the News

Water Plays a Key Role in Economic Development for Native American Communities
In this editorial, Ak-Chin Indian Community member Charles Carlyle outlines the link between sustainable water management and the overall sustainability of tribal communities. 

U.S. Senate Action Puts Rio de Flag Flood Control Project Back on Track
The Water Resources Development Act, passed by the senate late month, authorizes funds for tribal wastewater certification, among other things. 

Activists, Tribes Hail EPA Superfund Designation of Gold King Mine
Weeks after the Navajo Nation sued the U.S. EPA over the Gold King Mine spill, the agency announced that it had designated the mine a Superfund site, which will advance the cleanup of contaminants from last year's toxic spill.

Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas Celebrates New Water Rights Deal
The Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas reached an agreement with the state last month that will help it create a reservoir to provide a stable source of water on tribal lands. 

Ute Mountain Utes Nudge Obama on Monument and Water
Ute Mountain Ute leaders were in Washington last month in part to express concerns about water compacts in the Colorado Basin and said the administration "listened to our concerns." 
  • Related: Click here to watch President Obama's 12-minute address at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference. 
WaterOperator.org—formerly SmallWaterSupply.org—is a free, grant-funded service to support small community water and wastewater operators with comprehensive resources and information in one easy-to-use place. We also serve the 800+ training, primacy, and technical service organizations, by helping operators get to their information. We aren't buying, selling, or advertising anything. You can call us at 1-866-522-2681 if you need assistance.

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