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By Dan McGovern

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Additional info for The Campo Indian landfill war: the fight for gold in California's garbage

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The charge elicited a more personal response from Arol: ''I am married to an Indian! My children are quarter-Indian. " Of the some half-dozen speakers BAD had invited, three were Indians. E. (Citizens Against Ruining our Environment), had to cancel at the last minute because of the flu. E. had waged a successful campaign against a hazardous waste incinerator and landfill project proposed for their community in Dilkon, Arizona. E. ) Lou Grass, a member of the National Congress of American Indians who taught at nearby Imperial Valley College, made a Page 19 scholarly presentation on soil chemistry and heavy metals.

I encountered Donna and Mike in San Diego at a community meeting hosted by the Environmental Health Coalition. I was then the regional administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agencythe chief federal environmental official in EPA's Region 9, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada, as well as 139 Indian tribes. ) The San Diego meeting was one in a series organized by the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic justice to give me a better appreciation of the problems leading many people of color to conclude that their communities are victims of environmental racism.

Everybody gets their garbage picked up but only minority communities get the landfills and incinerators. EPA, environmental justice advocates charge, has too long deferred to local land use agencies, refusing to recognize that minority communities are being discriminated against in fact, if not intentionally. I had understood that the meeting in San Diego was to focus on the environmental problems of Barrio Logan, a largely Latino neighborhood of the city, where zoning practices permit facilities storing and using hazardous materials, like metal plating shops, to be located right next to homes.

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