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U.S. EPA settles for $915,000 with Pala Tribe over San Diego County water violations
Release Date: 11/06/2006
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815
Terms include $370,000 civil penalty plus $545,000 mitigation project
LOS ANGELES - In recent settlements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Pala Band of Mission Indians will pay $915,000, and its contractors, Brown Bulk Transportation Co., Valley Materials and Supply, Inc., and James Brown will pay $65,000, totaling $980,000, for illegal discharges of dredged and fill material to the San Luis Rey River in San Diego County, Calif., without U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits.
The consent decrees – lodged last week by the Department of Justice – require the Pala Band of Mission Indians to provide $545,000 toward The Nature Conservancy's acquisition of ecologically valuable property for permanent protection within the San Luis Rey River watershed as mitigation for the impacts caused by the defendants’ activities. The Pala Band of Mission Indians will pay a civil penalty of $370,000, and the other defendants will collectively pay a civil penalty of $65,000.
"The San Luis Rey River is an important Southern California watershed," said Alexis Strauss, Director of the EPA's Water Division for the Pacific Southwest Office. "The EPA is committed to working with the Pala Band of Mission Indians to ensure the river and its aquatic resources are protected for all."
From late 1998 to early 2000, the Pala Band of Mission Indians and Brown Bulk Transportation Co., Valley Materials and Supply, Inc., and John Brown illegally graded and discharged dredged and fill materials to the San Luis Rey River as part of an aggregate mining operation without appropriate U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits. The Tribe’s construction of portions of a casino from 2000 to 2001 also resulted in unpermitted discharges of dredged and fill material to the San Luis Rey River.
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