Nunagpet/Chugachmiut Environmental Protection Consortium (CEPC)
The Chugachmiut Environmental Protection Consortium is a coalition of seven Alaska native villages and two Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) corporations located in the Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound regions. Representatives from each village and from the Cook Inlet and ANCSA corporations make up the CEPC board, which plans environmental strategies and develops regulations for the region. CEPC recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and EPA Region 10 to devise and implement environmental work plans that address numerous environmental concerns, including solid waste management.
CEPC was instrumental in the development of household hazardous waste (HHW) storage facilities near community landfills. Community members are encouraged to drop off HHW materials such as paint cans, batteries, and used oil, which are safely stored until they can be transported to an appropriate disposal facility in Anchorage. In addition, CEPC distributed green cleaning kits to the communities of Chenega, Tatitlek, Port Graham, and Nanwalek. The kits contained cleaning products that are better for the health of the community and the environment than commercial cleaning products. Products in the kit included baking soda and liquid castile soap, which can be used for sink, tub, and toilet cleaner; and vinegar, which can be combined with water and used as a window or floor cleaner. Volunteers from the communities distributed the kits to individuals personally, explaining the importance of reducing household wastes.
CEPC supports three environmental health professionals who develop and lead environmental programs and educational workshops for CEPC member communities. The community of Eyak, with Educator Kate Williams, has established a clothes recycling program including a semiannual clothing swap. Eyak is also researching antifreeze recycling.
Initiating recycling programs poses a considerable challenge for all Chugachmiut native villages, because recyclables must be transported to the Anchorage Recycling Center, which ships or flies the recyclables to Seattle for processing. Since native villages spend most recycling revenue on transportation costs, they need a significant commitment from community members to remain viable. The success of CEPCs recycling programs reflects a commitment to environmental protection on the part of these Alaska native villagers.
CEPCs Declaration of Intent covers all aspects of environmental protection for the region and provides a firm foundation for expanding solid waste management and recycling efforts. For more information, please contact Christine Celentano, Environmental Health Program Director, at the following address:
Nunagpet/Chugachmiut Environmental Protection Consortium
4201 Tudor Center Drive #210
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: 907 562-4155
Fax: 907 563-2891