Office of Environmental Health (OEH)
Environmental Health is a branch of Public Health that focuses on how the built and natural environments can impact human health, either positively or negatively. OEH works with the people and organizations of the Bering Strait region to identify, evaluate, control, and ultimately prevent environmental health issues.
OEH Routine Services
Drinking Water Lab
- The OEH Drinking Water Lab has been open for business since March 2021!
- Certified through the State of Alaska to test drinking water samples from Public Water Systems for bacterial contamination: Coliform bacteria and E. coli.
- Each sample takes 24-48 hours for finalized results and cost per sample is $25 to cover base operating expenses.
- Communities interested in using these services must submit a 30-day notice of intent to utilize the lab services.
Rabies Control and Prevention
- Regional Lay Vaccinator program, rabies vaccinations to dogs/cats, animal bite investigations, record keeping, coordination with State of Alaska.
- Education regarding rabies in the Bering Strait region and dog bite prevention.
- Animal bite investigation and response.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Education outreach about bed bug prevention, manage bed bug heat treatment contract with Houdini’s Bed Bug Services, NSHC IPM policy development.
- Capacity building for regional tribes’ environmental programs focused on water, land and air with an emphasis on water.
- Technical assistance and training to build capacity in implementing and managing environmental programs.
- Cooperation and networking among regional tribes.
- Coordinate and partner with local, regional, state, federal and other stakeholders involved in water quality activities.
- Quality environmental monitoring and management of water quality issues within the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Enhanced development of environmental programs by regional tribes.
- Assist with development of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tribal Environmental Plans and Tribal priorities within the Bering Strait Region.
- Technical assistance and training focused on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tribal Environmental Plans and Tribal priorities within the Bering Strait Region.
- Additional information on the EPA Indian General Assistance Programs available within our region can be found at the following links:
Have questions about recycling, backhaul, or contaminated sites? Contact Kawerak’s Environmental Program
Institutional Environmental Health
- OEH supports environmental health and safety at NSHC healthcare facilities by participating in scheduled hazard rounds and conducting health and safety surveys in village health clinics.
- Also offered are request-based health and safety assessments & guidance for headstarts, preschools, or other public facilities.
- Foster regional interest & provide professional career opportunities
- Alaska Pacific University now has an accredited Environmental Public Health undergraduate program! Click here for more information.
- Interested in a paid Environmental Health internship?
General Request-Based Services
- Outbreak investigations, emerging environmental health threats (climate change, new contaminants, etc.), research, program evaluation, etc.
- Takes a comprehensive approach to address diseases and injuries in the home by focusing on housing-related hazards in a coordinated fashion, with priority populations including elderly, very young, and immune/health compromised
- OEH offers education outreach, on-site assessments & technical assistance related to healthy homes
- Healthy homes concerns include but are not limited to: mold & moisture, carbon monoxide, lead, home safety, allergens and asthma, and integrated pest management (IPM).
- OEH partnered with the State of Alaska-Air Quality Division’s new Community-Based Air Monitoring Project continuously monitor the outside air for: carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and particulate matter.
- The State’s goal with this project is to reduce the disparity of air quality data in rural Alaska by placing outside air monitors in hub communities where no air quality data is being collected.
- OEH partnered with KNOM to install the monitor on their 3 Ave West building
- OEH offers request-based food safety services and guidance including food establishment food safety surveys, food safety training for staff, and guidance.
- Education in the region on prevention of botulism as it relates to non-traditional preparation of traditional native foods such as fermented fish heads and eggs. See the link below for more information.