California Native American Tribal Relations: CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee

The CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) was established in 2010 to discuss environmental issues and projects involving California Native American Tribes. The TAC includes representatives from federally-recognized and non-federally recognized California Native American Tribes. The TAC meet with the Secretary of CalEPA and/or his designee, the directors of each CalEPA Board, Department and Office (BDOs), or their designees, the BDO Tribal Liaisons, at least quarterly each calendar year.

Through the years since the inception of the Tribal Advisory Committee, CalEPA has gained invaluable experience in actively pursuing the State’s joint sovereign interest with Tribes to safeguard and protect the State’s precious resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

CalEPA reimburses each Committee member for travel and lodging expenses to and from Committee meetings.  On occasion, and when feasible, Committee members may also host quarterly meetings on their respective Tribal lands.


Upcoming Meetings:

  • September 2, 2020, TAC June Mtg Follow-up Meeting, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm – Follow-up discussion to the previous June 2020 CalEPA TAC Meeting. This will be a video/phone conference meeting. This meeting will focus on the following:
    • CalEPA’s draft Tribal Update Report
    • State Water Board’s SAFER Drinking Water Program
    • DTSC Implementation Plans of newly adopted Tribal Policy.

Please email Malinda Dumisani, Special Assistant for EJ and Tribal Affairs, at mdumisani@calepa.ca.gov if interested in participating in this meeting.


Tribal Advisory Committee Charter

The CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee:

  • Chairperson: Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director, Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians
  • Vice-Chair: Harry Williams, Vice Tribal Preservation Officer, Bishop Paiute Tribe
  • Secretary: Crystal Robinson, Environmental Director, Quartz Valley Indian Reservation
  • Member: Clifford Batten, Environmental Director, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
    • Alternate: Chris Manzano, Assistant Environmental Manager, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Member: Nora McDowell, former Tribal Chairwoman, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
  • Member: Raymond Meija, Environmental Director, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe
  • Member: James Kinter, Tribal Secretary, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
    • Alternate: Emily Drewek, Director of Environmental Department, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
  •  Member: Matthew Teutimez, Tribal Biologist,  Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians – Kizh Nation
    • Alternate: Andrew Salas, Tribal Chairman, Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians – Kizh Nation

Past Meetings:

  • June 16 & 17, 2020 – Online Meeting – The meeting focused on the SAFER Drinking Water Program, tribal beneficial use in regional waterboard basin planning, cannabis activities at CalEPA with presentations from Waterboards, CalRecycle, and DPR staff. DTSC Director Dr. Meredith Williams and Waterboards Chair Mr. Joaquin Esquivel joined the meeting to share their tribal priorities with the TAC.
  • February 19 & 20, 2020, CalEPA Headquarters Building, Sacramento, California.  Met with Secretary Blumenfeld and the CalEPA Boards, Departments, and Office Directors to share and discuss tribal priorities for 2020 year.
  • September 9-10, 2019, Quartz Valley Indian Reservation in Fort Jones (northern California).
  • June 18-19, 2019, this meeting was held near the Los Angeles basin (Covina) area near the Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians – Kizh Nation area
  • March 25-26, 2019, CalEPA Headquarters Building, located at 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814
  • December 17 & 18, 2018, CalEPA Headquarters Building, Sacramento
    The CalEPA TAC had a joint meeting with the CalEPA Agency Secretary and the Directors of the CalEPA Boards, Departments, and Office.
  • November 1, 2018 Meeting Agenda -Held during the 2018 US EPA Annual Tribal Conference, San Francisco
  • August 1-2, 2018 Meeting Agenda – Bishop Paiute Tribe Reservation, Bishop, CA
  • April 24-25, 2018 Meeting Agenda– Fort Mojave Indian Tribe’s tribal lands, Laughlin, NV
  • December 12-13, 2017 Meeting Agenda (.pdf, 61kB) – CalEPA HQ Building, Sacramento, CA
    The CalEPA TAC had a joint meeting with the CalEPA Agency Secretary and the Heads of the CalEPA BDOs.

Helpful Resources for Tribes from Previous TAC Meetings: