MANAGING A TRIBAL TRANSFER STATION: A Pyramid Lake Case Study Presented by John Mosley Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Environmental Director BACKGROUND FOR PLPT RESERVATION Area - 477,000 acres 2400 Members, ~2200 residents 650 Tons of Solid Waste Per Year 3 Separate Communities, ~15miles apart 3 Separate Waste Pools Open Dumps (aka “The Dump”…) AKA “Macy’s” Burning Waste Medical Waste Dead Animals No laws?!!! WHY IS TRASH A PROBLEM? Cultural ways remained unchanged for millennia Green living & Zero waste were necessities Migration Culture clash with Western World Western culture is wasteful After hundreds of years, Tribes still struggle to change Economically, its difficult for change to occur Lack of education Western ways bring Western problems Per capita, 2.3 lbs/yr vs. US 4.6 lbs/yr avg. DUMPS: CHARACTERIZATION Examples of different types of DUMPS… OLD DUMPS JUNK DUMPS BURNING DUMPS OIL DUMPS BIG DUMPS TIRE DUMPS NEW DUMPS PICTURE OF MY DOG BEHIND PEOPLE’S HOMES DUMPS OFF RESERVATION DUMPS NIXON DUMP BEFORE NIXON DUMP BEFORE NIXON DUMP AFTER NIXON DUMP AFTER CONCLUSION Pyramid Lake needs a waste management sol’n Grant funding helps to clean up waste and to build a transfer station Once facilities are constructed, the Tribe has to pay for O&M A utility board is formed to help advise Council Board sets rates and fees to become self-sufficient Other options? Waste companies will service two of the three communities (not many options) PLPT Solid Waste Department is created Equipment procured through surplus TRANSFER STATIONS 3 for each community Designated hours of operation Special waste drop off areas Raised earth with concrete reinforcement Fenced with chain-link and barbed wire top Safe and secure site SORT OF…!! ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS Who will man the site? Costs of contracting to haul waste off site Vandalism Honoring the hours of operation Large waste or unacceptable waste Recycling Payment for use Enforcement Use by outsiders Use by Tribal Members who charge for collection Maintaining Billing and getting people to pay PYRAMID LAKE SOLUTIONS Created Department and Staff positions Used Grants to get large equipment or procured surplus equipment Managed waste self-sufficiently Created curbside program Billing for curbside AND TS as one charge Moved SW and DW under Indirect Cost Familiarity and convenience with curbside Create commercial accounts to increase revenues OUTREACH & EDUCATION!!!!!! PL – SOLUTIONS CONT’D Discouraged use of transfer sites Management of Transfer Stations is a full-time job, Environmental liability Decision was made to move to Curbside pick-up Keeps residents from not throwing away too much Convenient for Elderly and Disabled Helps with Billing enforcement Created ISWMP (RCRA Funded) Taking more commercial accounts (to ^ revenues) Working with State and County for enforcement Partnering with Contractors to share facility use RCRA – CHANGE IS NEEDED Resource Conservation Recovery Act Named Tribes as “Municipalities” in authority Challenged in Court (EPA permit for Campo Tribe) BACKCOUNTRY AGAINST DUMPS and Donna Tisdale, Petitioners, v. USEPA, Respondent, Muht- Hei, Inc., et al., Intervenors. Court ruled in favor of challengers Tribes have TAS in other laws (CWA, CAA) We must get Tribal Chairs, Councils, Congressmen and NCAI to be aware and advocate for change! TAS is an important authority Tribes need as Sovereign Nations QUESTIONS? DISCUSSION? Talky talk time.
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