Dump on Torres Martinez Reservation fined $46M

The Environmental Protection Agency has slapped the operators of an illegal dump on the Torres Martinez Reservation in California with a $46 million fine.

Kim Lawson, Lawson Enterprises and Torlaw Realty Inc. were ordered by a federal judge to pay $42.8 million for cleanup, $2.362 million in civil penalties and $1.8 million to reimburse the Riverside County Fire Department for responding to nine fires last year.

The Lawson dump is one of the largest on the reservation. The EPA has been working with the Torres-Martinez Band of Cahuilla, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and state agencies to shut it down.

Lawson is a tribal member. He declared bankruptcy after his dump was shut down last year.

Separately, the EPA has started fining George AuClair Jr., the operator of the other large dump on the reservation.

Get the Story:
Illegal dump operators face $46M in fines (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 3/23)
Owner of illegal dump fined $46.9 million (The Los Angeles Times 3/23)
Judge rules illegal dump will cost owner more than $47 million (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 3/23)
Judge: Operators of illegal dump to pay $46M in fines, cleanup (The Fresno Bee 3/23)

Relevant Links:
Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians - http://www.torresmartinez.org

Related Stories:
EPA goes after dumps on Torres Martinez land (3/21)
Another fire burns at Torres Martinez dump (11/28)
Board allocates funds for Torres Martinez dump (11/16)
Torres Martinez Reservation dump on Superfund list (10/20)
Underground fire on Torres Martinez Reservation (09/14)
Judge closes dump on Torres Martinez Reservation (08/09)
Editorial: Little help for tribes with illegal dumps (12/19)
Illegal dumping a big problem on reservation (12/13)
Fire burns for a week on Torres Martinez Reservation (04/11)
California tribe to use EPA grant to monitor water (02/02)
Calif. tribe gives members bottled water (02/11)
Church ordered to remove tent from reservation (10/05)
Judge asked to shut down reservation dump site (7/24)
Feds seek to close reservation mobile home park (07/11)
Waste dump on reservation told to stop burning (05/08)
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