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.

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.

Tribal Advisory Committee Charter

The CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee:

  • Chairperson: Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director, Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians
  • Vice-Chair: Vacant
  • 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: Lex Koscielak, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe
  •  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:

  • 2022 – Online Meeting – to be added soon
  • September 2, 2020 – Online Meeting – This meeting continued on Committee’s discussion of the SAFER Drinking Water Program and DTSC’s Tribal Consultation Policy and implementation of Senate Bill 673 (SB 673, Statutes of 2015) is a key milestone law in the development of stronger regulatory and permit protections. The law directed DTSC to enhance protections for public health and the environment in communities near hazardous waste facilities, and to increase DTSC’s transparency and accountability through the permit process. 
  • 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: