Environmental Program

Trinidad Rancheria Environmental Program

It is the objective of the Environmental Program to protect the air, land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources of the Trinidad Rancheria to benefit present and future generations. In addition, it is the mission of this department, with the Tribal Community,  to be proactive in environmental stewardship of the Trinidad Rancheria and its natural resources.

Ron Sundberg
Environmental Director
(707) 825-2731

Thomas Saunders
Environmental Manager
(707) 825-2734

Henry Baker
Environmental Technician
(707) 825-2756

Hours of Operation
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Environmental Department Priorities
Water Quality
Non-Point Source (NPS) pollution in the form of storm water runoff and overland sheet flows over impermeable surfaces pick up constituents of grease and oil, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and harmful bacteriological indicators, that are deposited into nearby creeks, streams and seeps that are in close proximity to the ocean and in particular to the Trinidad Head ASBS.
Surface water quality can be compromised by Point Source and Non-Point Sources of pollution ranging from those listed above to direct illegal dumping of waste and debris into canyons, gulley’s, streambeds, storm drains and gutters.
Ground water has the potential to be polluted from different sources, the most immediate of which would be the infiltration of hydrocarbons and chemical constituents that persist beyond the efforts of soil remediation, and the contamination of groundwater from aging on-site wastewater disposal systems on small lots, with documented failures caused by poor drainage/high groundwater/standing surface water/unstable earth conditions.
Air Quality
While there is little recorded information concerning the overall air quality for this region, it is commonly assumed that the rural nature of this area provides relatively good air quality. However, there are more serious issues of indoor air quality to address. Aging residential houses have issues with the suspected presence of lead, mold and asbestos in addition to the already toxic nature of many traditional building materials.
Climate/ Global Warming
Global warming, climate change, and the resulting increase in weather severity and predicted sea level rise creates major areas of concern due to the close proximity of the Trinidad Rancheria to the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean.
Solid Waste/ Hazardous Waste/ Toxics
Reducing the impact to the solid waste stream is a major concern to the Trinidad Rancheria. Increasing recycling efforts and efficiency in design and implementation have been identified as major issues to deal with presently and in the future. Electronic waste is a growing problem as technology controls more and more aspects of home and business life.
Illegal dumping on Tribal lands continues to be a source of solid waste, and in some instances hazardous waste.
Fuel spills and oil spills are a constant threat from operations of fleet vehicles, staff parking, visitor/patron parking, delivery vehicles (including delivery of liquid and gas fuel resources), and incidental spills from Highway 101.
Household hazardous waste has a tendency to accumulate in and around residential areas in the form of cleaners, solvents, lubricants, paints, and adhesives. If these materials are not properly disposed of or recycled they present a serious threat to the health and well-being of the residents and the environment.
Emergency Preparedness
Proximity to the ocean and shoreline makes the Trinidad Rancheria vulnerable to natural disasters in the form of tsunamis, storm surges, and severe winter storm events.
Single access road on unstable terrain is vulnerable to failure, and could isolate the community during a disaster.
Community is adjacent to Highway 101, which increases the possibility of exposure to a toxic spill incident.
Smart Growth
The Trinidad Rancheria is at a critical stage in the development of its residential and commercial infrastructures. Without prior planning and a commitment to sustainable design and practices it would be hard to implement the changes necessary to facilitate smart growth and planning. With hope for new residential buildings, and future business ventures there will be many opportunities to implement LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, smart growth, principles of green building, and practical applications of Low Impact Development (LID).
The rising cost of energy, for transportation, business operations, and residential uses, in addition to the growing awareness of collateral impacts to the climate and environment have created a need to develop practices that increase efficiency and lower the need for energy consumption. There is a need to address behavior and the built environment. Wasteful and inefficient practices need to be modified to incorporate a culture of conservation, in addition to incorporating new products and building upgrades to increase efficiency and lower overall energy consumption.