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Environmental Instructor Addresses Tribal Pesticide Program Council

Steven R. ParkerAn instructor of environmental technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology who has worked extensively to help American Indian tribes prepare for agricultural terrorism was an invited speaker at mid-October’s winter meeting of the Tribal Pesticide Program Council in Park, Ariz.

Steven R. Parker’s presentation, “The Need for Awareness and Challenges for All Tribes to an Introduction of a Foreign Animal Disease,” covered the concerns and challenges that tribes and their response agencies will have when they must deal with an outbreak of a foreign-animal disease. The presentation included differences in emergency response to FADs that re-emerge or that can be naturally, accidentally or deliberately introduced by terrorists.

The scope and impact of agroterrorism to the agricultural base as it relates to response, mitigation and recovery also were addressed. Those topics included quarantine issues and procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE) used when responding to outbreaks or events.

“Homeland Security estimates that we will need 750,000 trained personnel to respond to a national terrorist event in the sector of agriculture,” Parker said of his presentation. “It is important that everyone that can assist be trained on how they can help. The tribal employees working with pesticides knew that they have trained skills in the use of PPE. However, most of them didn’t know, and neither do most nontribal pesticide professionals, that their “¦ skills include the application of nearly 30 pesticides that are also biocides.

“They are well-trained emergency responders in handling cleaning and disinfection procedures in such a terrorist attack. I just opened their eyes to their abilities.”

Discussions were held on options that are available to response agencies for the euthanasia and disposal of dead and diseased domestic animal populations and, if necessary, wildlife populations. Participants were provided with information on decontamination of people, vehicles, equipment and facilities, and Parker also discussed public health issues ranging from zoonotic-disease exposure to the psychological impact and trauma that will result from a deliberate attack.

The Tribal Pesticide Program Council assists tribes and Indian nations in developing their own pesticide programs; provides focused pesticide education, training and research; offers a forum for dealing with a broad range of tribal pesticide-related issues and concerns; and facilitates communications between tribes, Indian Nations, tribal and intertribal organizations, tribal communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal and state agencies on pesticides and pesticide-related issues.

It comprises more than 40 authorized representatives of federally recognized tribes and Indian nations and intertribal organizations. A regionally based 11-member elected executive committee and an elected chairperson and vice chairperson govern the TPPC.

For more information about the School of Natural Resources Management, visit on the Web or call (570) 320-8038.

For more about Penn College, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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