Department of Environmental Programs

Our Mission

The Mission of the WDEP is to develop and implement a Tribal environmental program that will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between human beings and their environment; to promote efforts that will prevent or eliminate damage to natural resources and the environment; and to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.

About Us

Initiated in 1995, the Wichita Department of Environmental Programs (WDEP) began its operations in response to identified environmental problems. These problems included illegal dumpsites and water pollution. With assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the WDEP has expanded its environmental services with the addition of the following programs: EPA General Assistance Program (GAP) and the EPA Clean Water Act Section 106 Program.

General Assistance Program

EPA provides funding for the General Assistance Program (GAP). Staff initiates activities in order to provide Wichita and Affiliated Tribes’ members with information regarding the GAP’s objective to identify Wichita tribal properties containing illegal dumpsites. WDEP will then report all identified open dumps to Indian Health Service for inclusion on the OM SDS Database for possible future cleanup.

An application asks for the types of items on the property; the checklist consists of:

  • Household Trash
  • Paint Cans
  • Containers of Chemicals
  • Lumber
  • Chemical Spills
  • Tires
  • Metal/Wire
  • Appliances

WDEP is currently trying to locate additional illegal dumpsites for possible future clean-up. These dumpsites must be located on tribal allotted trust property to be eligible for most funding. WDEP welcomes reports on any illegal dumpsites, as well as any other possible environmental concerns to this office whether they are on or near tribal lands.

Twice each week, the Wichita Department of Environmental Programs hauls approximately 426.7 cubic feet of cardboard to the Fort Sill Recycling Center. This is in addition to varying amounts of plastic, aluminum cans and paper.

There are cardboard recycling locations that include the Wichita Community Center, Wichita Travel Plaza and the Wichita Child Development Center. Additional recycling areas include aluminum can and plastic recycling bins inside tribal buildings, paper and can recycling near the AoA Building, and a larger recycling area for plastic near the Portable Building.

Annual Roll-Offs

WDEP’s Annual Roll-Offs provide Wichita tribal members a resource to get rid of unwanted trash.

Accepted items include:

  • Household trash
  • Clothes & shoes
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Washers & dryers
  • Refrigerators & freezers
  • Plastic & aluminum
  • Tires (no rims)

Water Quality Program

EPA provides funding for the Water Quality program under the Clean Water Act Section 106. The primary goal of the Water Program is to develop and implement a tribal water quality-monitoring program that will evaluate, restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrities of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes water ways.

WDEP is currently testing ten sites that include:

  • Washita River 1
  • Sugar Creek 1
  • Willow Creek
  • Fort Cobb Lake
  • Chickasha Lake
  • Cobb Creek
  • 5 Mile Creek
  • Washita River 4
  • Sugar Creek 2
  • Ionine Creek

Laboratory Analysis Parameters will be collected and analyzed as defined in the WDEP’s approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) as well as the Quality Management Plan (QMP).

Parameters will include:

  • Sample ID,
  • Sample site #,
  • Date,
  • Time,
  • Air Temp. Cº,
  • Cloud Conditions,
  • Rainfall,
  • Water Temp. Cº,
  • Conductivity,
  • Dissolved Oxygen,
  • Depth,
  • pH,
  • Turbidity,
  • E. coli,
  • Enterococci,
  • Ammonia-N,
  • Nitrate-N,
  • Orthophosphate as P,
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen.

WDEP will then report all parameters in a the AWQWMS Database for possible future analysis. In AWQMS, an Activity tracks the location, date, and time of the sample or field measurement, as well as the equipment and methods used to collect, transport and store the sample. All Streams/Lakes will be mapped using GIS software and GPS equipment. WDEP will work with landowners and farmers to gain access to the tribal properties for the mapping procedure.

Fort Cobb lake is 1 of 10 sample sites that WDEP monitors

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Wichita Department of Environmental Programs does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability in any of its programs, activities, or operations.

The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. The Wichita Tribe, with the exception of P.L. 93-638, (a) will not discriminate against any employee or candidate for employment because of sex, age, race, creed, color or national origin; and (b) will take affirmative action to insure that candidates are employed without regard to their race, creed, or national origin, except when required by specific program guidelines.

If you believe that WDEP has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, you can file a grievance with the Environmental Programs Director in person, by mail, or by phone at the contact information below.

Contact Us

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EPA/WDEP Director

Sylvester Luther
405-247-2425, ext. 141

Mailing Address

Department of Environmental Programs
PO Box 729
Anadarko, OK 73005