Mexican landfill angers Tohono O'odham, residents

A proposed hazardous waste dump in Mexico has angered members of the Tohono O'odham Nation and residents and officials on both sides of the border.

Mexico's environmental agency approved plans for the dump, which would accept up to 45,000 tons of industrial waste every year. But tribal members and residents of a nearby city say it would harm the environment and pose health and safety hazards.

The Environmental Protection Agency says there is little it can do about the project. But the Mexican government failed to notify the U.S. about the project, in violation of an international agreement.

The waste dump would be located about 12 miles from the Tohono O'odham village of Quitovac, the site of an annual sacred ceremony. Tribal members live on both sides of the border.

The Mexican city of Sonoyta is holding up the facility out of concern for residents' safety. The residents joined Tohono O'odham activists in a protest this past Sunday that blocked traffic for hours at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Get the Story:
Proposed landfill a concern on border (The Arizona Republic 11/29)

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