Environment | Law

Cabazon Band seeks to protect rights in enviromental flap

The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians wants to work with the state on environmental issues but not at the expense of its sovereignty, Chairman David Roosevelt said.

Roosevelt appeared with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) and activist Erin Brockovich at a school where children and teachers have become sickened by odors. The Environmental Protection Agency has traced the odors to a soil-recycling plant that is operating on the reservation.

Western Environmental Inc has denied being the source of the odors. The company leases land from the tribe.

"We want and have taken action to make sure this doesn't happen again … but we want to protect our rights too," Roosevelt told The Los Angeles Times.

Roosevelt said the tribe is willing to adopt laws that are similar to the state's in order to address environmental issues. But he said he won't accept state jurisdiction on the reservation.

Get the Story:
California launches internal audit over Cabazon toxic waste facility (The Los Angeles Times 6/3)
Activist Erin Brockovich, Sen. Barbara Boxer praise Mecca students for raising red flags on odor (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 6/3)
Mecca plant denies being source of odor (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 6/3)
Sen. Boxer, Erin Brockovich Address Sickening Fumes (KESQ-TV 6/3)

Related Stories:
EPA takes action against another business on Cabazon land (6/2)
Opinion: Jurisdictional issues and Cabazon recycling plant (5/12)
EPA takes action on recycling plant on Cabazon Reservation (5/10)
Residents demand closure of plant at Cabazon Reservation (4/29)
Odor at reycling plant on Cabazon Reservation stirs neighbors (3/28)

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