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YRITWC Spring 2017

Solid Waste Management Update
by Katherine Brower


A Successful HAZWOPER Class and Brownfields Outreach in Chevak, Alaska

Willoughby Peterson, Brownfields Program Manager and Katherine Brower, Solid Waste Management Coordinator were in Chevak this winter for a 40 Hour Hazwoper training. Despite colder weather complications, 19 of 25 people signed up for the course were able to attend in Chevak. Trainees came from Alakanuk, Kotlik, Steven’s Village and local residents from Chevak. NIT LLC was contracted to provide the course trainer, Rex Frazier, who did a great job. 100% of 19 participants of the class passed the training with certificates awarded.

When the training was over YRITWC awarded participants with various personal protective equipment (PPE) like hardhats, safety vests, gloves, eye protectors, and all were given a NIOSH and ERG reference books. Chevak Environmental programs and the City of Chevak were great hosts for the training.

Willoughby held a community meeting with the Chevak residents to facilitate discussion of ideas to reuse the old school after remediation of asbestos and other hazards. During his visit he recorded aerial footage of the property as it is now to help in the planning process. A questionnaire was given to the residents and a local classroom to fill in their ideas and vision of what they would like the building to be. These ideas and drawings will be used for future “visioning” of the project. Currently, the State of Alaska DEC is planning to visit Chevak this spring/summer to conduct further Phase II Assessment of the property.

The YRITWC does not currently have specific clean-up funding for properties, but we are assisting in the steps required before clean up and reuse can occur under brownfields leveraged funds.

The common definition of a Brownfield property is a "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant". If you know of a property that you simply suspect might fit this description, please reach out to us (907) 258-3337 or If you’d like to donate to projects like this please visit us at


Please be advised that 2018 is the last year that EPA will allow tribes to back haul waste from their communities using GAP funds. YRITWC has backhauled 29.05 tons of waste out of Nenana. If you are going to backhaul from your community please let the Solid Waste department know with what and how much you are going to backhaul out of your community. You also need to have your products that is being backhauled out packed and staged right with proper labeling specifically for all items. Proper staging and packing of materials that need to be backhauled information is available on the YRITWC website in the Library under the “B” tab. If you need more information please call or email YRITWC, Solid Waste Management department.

Photos courtesy of Katherine Brower, from training in Nenana, September 2016

Drum Crusher

YRITWC has a 55-gallon drum crusher for villages to borrow if they are in the YR watershed. If you would like to borrow it your community will be responsible to pay for the freight to your community and maintenance of the crusher. So far for this coming summer Beaver and Holy Cross are the villages that would like to use it. It would be great if communities to and in between those two villages could use it. The cost of freight between those villages would be alleviated for all interested. If your community crushes the drums you can increase the life of your landfill and reduce hazardous materials to your residents. A drum crusher training will be held in Koyukuk May 15-18, 2017. If you are interested in attending, please let Katherine Brower know by email at kbrower@yritwc. 


Hazwoper or other Hazardous Materials Trainings

If you or staff needs 40-hour hazwoper or 8-hour refresher courses please send Katherine your community name and number of people that need training. So far there is Anvik, Ft. Yukon, Grayling, Nenana, and Hughes that are interested in 40-hour training and several for 8 hour refresher training. These trainings are eligible for scholarship awards to help subsidize travel costs to the trainings. Training place and dates have not been set yet. Email will be sent out as dates and place of training’s come to place.


Ruby, Alaska - Intergrated Solid Waste Management, (ISWM) Training May 9 -11, 2017

Ruby, Alaska is hosting the Integrated Solid Waste Management (SWM) training this May. The travel dates are May 8th and 12th. This training will be informational for environmental coordinators and administrators to utilize their landfills more efficiently. The class size is a maximum of 25 so if anyone is interested please let SWM Coordinator Katherine Brower know and she will put you on the list. Ruby was selected because they are in the process of selecting land for a new landfill and closing their present landfill. If you or your staff is interested, YRITWC will need to know the cost of travel round trip which will help determine the scholarship award amount. Scholarship is awarded only after the training is over and 100% attendance from the participant(s) of the community. If, you have any question please get a hold of Katherine Brower for more information at (907) 258-3337 or

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