The Fort Sill Apache Environmental Programs (FSAEP) strives to create as positive an impact as possible for the Tribe on the health of the natural environment and of its people. We achieve this through public outreach, resource monitoring, waste reduction & recycling, tribal property stewardship, and water/sewer operation.

Program Description

The FSAEP manages federal grants that fund environmentally-focused programs that pertain to the Tribe’s public and natural resource health. These programs include the EPA General Assistance Program for environmental capacity building (training, equipment, outreach, recycling), the Clean Water Act 106 Water Quality Monitoring Program (surface water parameters and macro-invertebrate), and the Clean Air Act §103 Air Quality Monitoring Project (Particulate Matter 2.5). Through FSAEP, the Tribe received a NRCS grant for a new seasonal high tunnel for growing culturally-significant plants and desert-friendly foods. The Tribe recently purchased a drone system to be operated by FSAEP technical staff for various environmental, real estate, economic development, and promotional activities, among other purposes. FSAEP is also pursuing funding in the areas of wildlife, hazard mitigation, climate resilience, wetland management, and non-point source pollution control.

Our work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is vital in helping to improve the quality of life in our tribal members and community citizens. Since its inception the FSAEP has established numerous grants through the EPA they are: General Assistance Program (GAP), Clean Air Act (CAA) §103 Program, Clean Water Act (CWA) §106 Program. The GAP Program has addressed four primary components: 1) assimilating and disseminating environmental information; 2) identifying environmental training to build capacity; 3) building Internet/GIS/Computer expertise for staff, and 4) continuing environmental program development. The purpose of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Position Systems (GPS) is to identify and map tribal environmental impacts within the jurisdictional areas and other areas that could impact tribal members. A Quality Management Plan (QMP) has also been established to describe the general quality assurance policy’s and program requirements for the conduct of the work of the FSAEP, including its general assistance (GAP), air, water, solid waste, UST, hazardous waste, emergency response, environmental justice, pesticides, and environmental planning projects.

The FSAEP purpose includes identifying environmental problems and developing prevention and remediation strategies. To accomplish this mission, the FSAEP will adhere to quality assurance activities in order to ensure that all decisions are based on environmental data that is scientifically valid, precise, accurate, complete, representative, comparable, and legally defensible.

The Fort Sill Apache Air Quality Program (FSAAQP) primary goals is to conduct air quality monitoring to gather information on the long-term air quality effects on the health of the tribal community and our tribal lands. In an effort to accomplish these goals is working to establish tribal air management authority under the Tribal Authority Rule within the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA). The FSAAQP has completed an emissions inventory (EI) to identify sources of air pollution that may affect the Fort Sill Apaches air quality. In the future the FSAAQP plans to complete an EI on other tribal lands (Akela, NM)

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe’s Water Quality Program (FSAWQP) has developed a monitoring program to protect, monitor and analyze water quality on or near tribal lands/allotments. Goals include: Gather baseline data on the quality of tribal waters, Identify potential sources of pollution, determine the extent to which water quality has been affected by pollutants, determine if tested waters are in compliance with Water Quality Standards, determine water quality trends by continued water monitoring at determined sites, program growth and advancement as defined in, “Final Guidance on Awards of Grants to Indian Tribes under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act”, strategically address monitoring of all waters in and around the Fort Sill Apache Tribal jurisdiction. The problem this monitoring program is designed to address is the Fort Sill Apache Tribe’s need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its tribal members in regards to their water quality.

Eligibility, Guidelines, and/or Requirements

The FSAEP sponsors and participates in numerous events that are open to the public, including public outreach events, bulk waste collection, tire recycling drives, electronic and hazardous waste collections, and environmental questionnaire/t-shirt exchange. In order to receive pickup of bulk waste, priority goes to elders and tribal members.

The FSAEP operations a Recycling Program where we accept the following items: Cardboard, newspaper, magazines, bagged shredded paper, office paper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles. Other recyclable items accepted are old cell phones, used household batteries, and used printer ink cartridges. The recycling service is available 24/7 at our trailers located at the Tribal Complex north of Apache, OK. Community recycling events involve setting up the recycling trailer in Apache for select days to promote and accommodate recycling in town. Some activities, such as monitoring and facility checks, are for data and resource management, or compliance purposes, and are conducted by technical staff.

FSAEP also participates in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Adopt-A-Highway program. The FSAEP wants to keep improving the environmental awareness of solid waste littering on highway roadsides in hopes of reducing the amount of waste entering the environment. Educational information is made available in the FSAEP office.

Service Area

FSAEP is active on all Tribally-owned fee and trust land, including the Reservation at Akela, NM, as well as within the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Fort Sill Apache jurisdictional boundaries, and waterways that are associated with these lands. This includes properties in 3 states: Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Individually-owned private allotments can be visited by some programs, whenever landowners invite the Tribe to inspect, consult, or monitor.

Contact Info

Monte Scammahorn
Environmental Specialist

P. 580-588-2298 x2277
E. monte.scammahorn@fortsillapache-nsn.gov

Blake Harjo
Environmental Specialist

P. 580-588-2298 x2278
E. blake.harjo@fortsillapache-nsn.gov