PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS GRANTED AUTHORITY TO COMMENT ON AIR QUALITY PERMITS

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              CONTACT: Doug Elmets

Wednesday, October 22, 2008                                                         (916) 329-9180

           

PALA – The Pala Band of Mission Indians announced today that it has received the approval of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be recognized as a governing body with an opportunity to comment on issues of air quality affecting the Pala Reservation in Northern San Diego County.

 

Concerned about environmental projects on the perimeter of the Pala Reservation, the Pala Environmental Protection Agency (PEPA) applied for the “Treatment as a State” under the Federal Clean Air Act in March of 2007.  After more than a year of public comment and review, EPA officially designated the Pala Band as an “affected State” under the Act. 

 

As an affected state, the Pala Band now must be notified of any Title V permit applications for a source that may impact air quality on the Pala Reservation or is within a 50-mile radius of the Reservation.  The Pala Band then can submit written recommendations to the permitting authority regarding the permit and its terms and conditions.    

 

“The Pala Tribe has been responsible for the environment on the Pala Reservation for generations,” remarked Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band.  “Being recognized as an ‘affected state’ ensures that our voice will be heard on issues that impact the Reservation’s air quality. It is a big step toward exercising our sovereignty and ultimately protecting public health on the Reservation.”

 

The Pala Band of Mission Indians consists of 1,117 members with 650 living on the reservation along the Palomar Mountain range, located along 5,000 square miles of California’s desert and approximately 30 miles northeast of San Diego on Interstate 15.   Pala Casino, a 185,000 square foot, $115 million casino, entertainment and dining complex owned by the Pala Band, opened in April 2001.

 

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Pala Band of Mission Indians

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