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U.S. EPA decision acknowledges tribal sovereignty for Pala Band of Mission Indians/ “Treatment as State” approval supports Tribe’s air quality program

Release Date: 10/23/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 798-1404

(10/23/08) SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the “Treatment as State” application for the Pala Band of Mission Indians under a provision of the Tribal Authority Rule.

“With this decision, the EPA recognizes the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ exceptional environmental program and their dedication to cleaner air,” said Wayne Nastri, Administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Treatment as a state guarantees the Tribe additional authority for several important air programs."

For the Pala Band of Mission Indians, this designation requires major sources of air pollution within 50 miles to notify the Tribe, in the same manner states are notified, when these sources of air pollution are proposed or modified. This gives the tribe the ability to comment formally as a sovereign entity.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians is located in northern San Diego County, where a majority of the 918 enrolled members live on the 12,273-acre reservation. The Pala Band of Mission Indians is governed by an Executive Committee composed of six members elected by the General Council.

For more information on “Treatment as a state,” please go to:

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