July 18, 2007

Referring Article: PDF Back Country Messenger [Issue June 2007]

Dear Back Country Messenger Editor,

When dealing with global climate change, the production of greenhouse gases is assessed over wide, if not global, regions. Whether greenhouse gases are produced in the Miramar Landfill, the Tierra Del Sol Landfill or another landfill in Brawley or La Paz, Arizona, it is virtually indistinguishable as to its global climate impacts. Locating a landfill on Campo Indian Reservation does not result in “...more greenhouse gas emissions.” In fact, if the result is a reduction in the long haul to Brawley, Yuma or La Paz, the Campo facility could very easily result in a greenhouse gas reduction for the region. Waste reduction through reuse and recycling are also effective methods to reduce greenhouse gas production and such reductions have been a part of the integrated waste management approach in California for over 10 years. These programs have been encouraged and supported by the Campo people on the Reservation even prior to California making them law in the State.

Tisdale’s blanket statement of notoriously failed systems that “spew” tons of emissions and contaminate groundwater is, like most of her claims, wide on accusation and short on relevant specific facts. More importantly, specific information relevant to the landfill could be important for the tribe to review and analyze for factual accuracy and relevance to the proposed design. Yet the details of what she’s speaking have characteristically been withheld from our scrutiny.

The Campo Kumeyaay Nation has been involved in regional air issues since the early 90’s. We have provided technical assistance and participated with the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission, the Western Regional Air Partnership, the Tribal Air Monitoring Support Center and other organizations. The State of California, while hosting landfills in “sole source aquifers” also chooses to be a part of the Climate Registry. Yet this is not termed “disingenuous” by Tisdale. The State of California gets millions of dollars to assess air pollutants and establish regulatory programs while also hosting industry, power plants and agriculture that create those very pollutants. California is proud, and it should be, of its innovation and successes in environmental management. The San Diego Air Pollution Control District is governed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Millions of federal and State dollars go toward SDAPCD regulatory programs, some for sources owned by the County. Most of these sources of pollution are also a source of property tax revenue to the County. Somehow, when the same scenario is applied to Indian Nations, this confuses Tisdale, and she wrings her hands proclaiming irony that Indian people, through their tribal government, could have any emission sources and yet work to improve the environment. She can’t come to terms with the fact that as taxpaying Americans, the Campo Kumeyaay Nation is entitled to access federal air quality program monies just as the State of California does (though not near the same amount).

So where are Ms. Tisdale’s columns attacking the State of California of the County of San Diego for doing the same things we do? It’s obvious that Ms. Tisdale’s fight has continually revolved around accusations based on who we are, not on what we’re doing.

Racquel Morrison
Director of Communications
Campo Kumeyaay Nation

Campo Kumeyaay Nation
36190 Church Road, Ste. 1
Campo, California 91906
Tel: 619-478-9046
Fax: 619-478-5818

The Campo Kumeyaay Nation is one of twelve (12) Kumeyaay Bands in the County of San Diego, California. They are a gaming tribe and owners of the Golden Acorn Casino & Travel Center. The Campo Nation are proud leaders in renewable wind energy (Kumeyaay Wind), in Indian Country and has recently joined The Climate Registry as the FIRST Tribal nation to measure and collect data on GHG emissions in the region.


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