The mission of the Environmental Protection Department is to protect human health and the environment and conserve our natural resources.
Our vision: A clean and protected environment supporting a sustainable healthy quality of life.
The Environmental Protection Department develops and implements its environmental protection programs through environmental assessments, research, sampling and analysis, non-point source pollution prevention, emergency preparedness & response and community outreach education.
Services include environmental investigations, mosquito & weed abatement, water quality monitoring, recycling, emergency response and recycling.
Emergency preparedness is essential. Click here to find out more on how you can keep your family safe.
Richard Black, Environmental Manager
Richard Black has worked for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe for over twenty-two years and has been the Environmental Director/Manager for twenty years and is Chairman of the Tribal Emergency Response Commission (TERC).
He oversees the implementation of EPA environmental protection programs that include solid waste/recycling, tribal air program, chemical emergency preparedness and response, chemical safety and pollution prevention, water pollution control and non-point source. Other programs include BIA Tribal Climate Resilience, VW Settlement Programs, USDA Community Facilities and the tribal mosquito abatement program.
Richard previously worked for the Walker River Paiute Tribe as a planner for housing development and land use for approximately nineteen years. He also served as a tribal police officer and Fire Chief of the Schurz Volunteer Fire Department.
Richard is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, an Army Vietnam Veteran and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6825 in Schurz. He attended the Western Nevada College and the Native American Energy and Minerals Institute at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.
Sonia Corleto, Environmental Specialist
Sonia Corleto is an Environmental Specialist for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe’s (FPST) Environmental Protection Department. There she manages the Clean Water Act, Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Program and the Indoor Air Quality Program. The department is in the preliminary stages of implementing an Ambient Air Program as well. She has managed several different environmental programs throughout her years working for the FPST. Some of her favorite projects working for the FPST include lead sampling and analysis in dust wipe and soil collection, soil sampling for mercury and methylated mercury in soil and surface water, continuous radon testing using scientific equipment, surface water collection for seasonal monitoring, production of mycelium to reduce bacteria in the Tribal Wetlands, and assisting with the implementation of rotational grazing methodologies to reduce overgrazing and nutrient overloading which has been beneficial and has caused the ecosystem to improve. But her absolute favorite project was the implementation of a self-guided interpretive tour in the tribal wetlands.
Prior to accepting her current position with the FPST, Sonia worked for the Yomba Shoshone Tribe. It was in Yomba that she had the privilege of being one of the initial staff to begin working on environmental issues for the tribe. In Yomba, she implemented a solid waste program, managed a car recycling program and assisted with the closure of all open dumpsites and implementation of a transfer station.
Sonia is Shoshone Indian from the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone. She has primarily lived in Northern Nevada throughout her life. Fort Lewis College is where she found her passion for the environment by participating in Native American Cultural programs and learning about Earth Mother. Sonia’s life duty is working towards a cleaner environment and conservation of natural resources for our future generations.
Ileana Valenzuela, Environmental Specialist
Mrs. Ileana Valenzuela is a tribal member of the Te-Moak tribe of Western Shoshone and has lived in Fallon for the majority of her life. Mrs. Valenzuela graduated from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin in 2014, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Geoscience with a water emphasis.
Mrs. Valenzuela is an Environmental Protection Specialist and has worked in the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe’s Environmental Protection Department since 2016. Ileana’s work under the Clean Water Act Section 106, Water Pollution Control monitoring is focused toward the improvement of water quality on Tribal lands. In the Paiute language, this tribe is called “Toi-Ticutta” or the Cattail Eaters. The Tribe is identified as “People of the Marsh,” which tells the importance of clean water to their cultural identity. Her job and belief is to conserve, protect and restore natural resources for future generations.
Safia Amimi, Environmental Specialist
Hello, my name is Safia Amimi. I recently graduated from UNR with a degree in environmental science. I am originally from Morocco, a small country in North Africa. I am very excited to join the Environmental Protection Department and to work as an Environmental Specialist on climate change planning.
I love the desert environment in our state and I think its beauty and natural resources should be protected so future generations can also experience its beauty. Although, the desert seems arid and harsh, it’s a home of many plants and wildlife, it’s full of mystery and life and our role is to protect it from climate change and enhance its resilience and I hope to achieve this with your feedback and support. Personally, I love hiking in the desert, spending time with my family and gardening.