The Campo Indian Landfill War: The Fight for Gold in California's Garbage

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9780806127552: The Campo Indian Landfill War: The Fight for Gold in California's Garbage
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The Campo Indian Landfill War explores the timely and controversial topic of "environmental justice" through the story of an Indian tribe's struggle to develop its isolated and impoverished reservation by building a commercial garbage facility to serve the cities of Southern California.
The environmental justice movement was born out of the conviction that the waste industry has targeted minority communities for facilities it can no longer locate in the backyards of those with greater access to political power. The Campo case is therefore an anomaly: The tribe is unified in supporting the landfill, while the project is opposed by their mostly white neighbors out of concern that it could contaminate the aquifer that is the sole source of drinking water for 400 square miles, and thereby render the entire region uninhabitable.
The environmental justice community, including many Indians, charges that the waste industry is trying to exploit the poverty of the Campos and other tribes, making them offers they can't refuse for projects no one else wants, projects no one should want. The Campos admit the danger of exploitation, but contend that it is paternalistic - indeed racist - to assume that Indians are not smart enough to protect themselves in dealings with whites or wise enough to guard their reservation environment.

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About the Author:

Dan McGovern is a Visiting Scholar in the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at the University of California, Berkeley.

From Library Journal:

Disposal of various types of waste on Indian reservations is becoming a big business in the United States. McGovern, an environmental lawyer and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator, uses his knowledge of issues involved to describe one such case: that of the Campo Indians of San Diego County, California. He presents a brief history of the Campo before detailing their fight to lease space on their reservation to a private company to use as a landfill. Nearby residents objected, fearing that their ground water would be polluted. McGovern observed the struggle from his post at the EPA. A well-written and thoughtful book on a timely issue; recommended for both general and informed readers.?Gwen Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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