Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pala Tribe: Okay to DUMP Members, But Not Trash

After dumping many of their members like so much trash,the Pala Band of Mission Indians plans to hold a rally Saturday opposing the construction of the Gregory Canyon landfill near its reservation.

Tribal leaders oppose the dump because it would be located in an area they consider sacred. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 833, which would have prohibited the construction. The construction permit process is underway.

Shasta Gaughen, the tribe’s environmental department director, said the tribe wants to use the rally as a way to educate the public. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pala Youth Camp, 10779 Pala Road.

“The main message of the rally is that the fight to stop the Gregory Canyon landfill is not over and there are many opportunities coming up for the public to declare their opposition,” Gaughen said.

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Army Corps of Engineers are expected to release information regarding the permits for public comment over the coming months, Gaughen said. Proponents said the landfill project is well regulated and will create high-paying jobs.

The project is proposed on 308 acres south of Highway 76 and about 3 1/2 miles east of Interstate 15 near Pala. The dump would be 208 acres and is part of 1,700 acres owned by Gregory Canyon Ltd.

SB 833 would have prohibited the construction of a landfill within 1,000 feet of a site considered sacred to a tribe or within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River or an aquifer connected to it.

In explaining his veto, Brown said he was conflicted with the project, but that he did not believe the Legislature should intervene and overturn this local land-use decision.

See http://palawatch.com for more on Pala's disenrollments.

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