5.05.001 - Waste Disposal

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Waste Disposal


Section 1: Purpose

The purpose of this Ordinance is to protect the health and safety and promote the general welfare of the residents in the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Reservation, and to protect the environment by regulating the uncontrolled disposal and open burning of waste within the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation.

Section 2: Definitions

2.1 “Approved collection Agent" means a person who has a legal contract with the Tribe to recover and transport waste.

2.2 “Approved Site" means a site designated and approved by the Tribal Council as a site for collection and/or disposal of waste.

2.3 "Collection" means the act of collecting waste at the place of generation or at an approved site by an approved collection agent.

2. 4 "Disposal" means the Discharge, Abandonment, Deposit, Injection, Dumping, Spilling, Leaking, or placing of any waste into or on any land or water so that such waste or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including ground water.

2.5 "Disposal Facility" means a facility permitted to receive and dispose of waste, including but not limited to, a sanitary land fill, waste pile, or surface impoundment.

2.6 "Tribal Environmental Officer” means the Director of the Tribal Environmental Protection Agency or such other person designated by the Tribal Council to enforce Tribal Laws for the protection of the Reservation environment and/or Reservation residents.

2.7 "Open Burning" means the burning of any material under such condition that the products of combustion are emitted directly into the open atmosphere.

2.8 "Open Dump" means any facility or site at which waste is disposed of in a manner that does not protect the environment, is susceptible to open burning, or is exposed to the elements.

2.9 "Entity" means an individual or private corporation, partnership, firm, association, political subdivision, industry or any other being whatsoever.

2.10 "Reservation" means the Torres-Martinez Indian Reservation, including all lands and appurtenant resources, roads, bridges or any interests therein, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent or right of way, within the boundaries of the Torres-Martinez Indian Reservation established by Executive Order dated May 15, 1887, and supplement by Act of February 11, 1903 (32 stat. 822; c. 542) and any and all lands which may subsequently be added thereto.

2.11 “Tribe" means the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognized Indian Tribe.

2.12 "Waste" includes, without limitation, all solid and semisolid wastes including any garbage, trash, rubbish, refuse, sludge, from any waste water treatment facility, water supply treatment facility or air pollution control facility and other discarded material including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining or agricultural operations, or from community activities, such as ashes, dead animals, abandoned vehicles or appliances (or any parts thereof), infectious waste, toxic substances, and hazardous waste.

Section 3: Responsibility for Storage and Disposal of Waste

3.1 The generating, producing, storing, or receipt of any waste shall require responsibility for proper storage removal, transport and disposal of that waste while being transported. All waste shall, at a minimum, be covered, tied or otherwise secured so waste will not be blown or dropped from the transport vehicle.

3.2 For purposes of defining the area of responsibility as set forth in this section, the generation of waste shall carry with it the responsibility for the lawful storage, removal, transport and disposal of that waste until it is legally deposited in an approved site or collected by an approved collection agent.

3.3 When waste is disposed of, dumped or deposited in violation of this Ordinance, and three or more items in the solid waste identify the same entity as the owner or recipient of the waste, there shall be a reputable presumption that such entity is responsible for the unlawful dumping of such waste.

3.4 Any entity who by contract, agreement or otherwise, arranges for the recovery, transport, disposal or dumping of any waste is responsible for complying with the provisions of this Ordinance in addition to any applicable federal law regarding that waste.

Section 4: Unlawful Storage and Disposal of Waste

4.1 It is unlawful to store or accumulate waste in a manner that is hazardous to the public health and safety, as determined by the Tribal Environmental Protection Agency.

4.2 It is unlawful for any entity to collect and/or transport waste other than in conformity with the provisions of Section 3 of this Ordinance.

4.3 It is unlawful to for any entity to dump, deposit or dispose of any waste at any location within the Reservation other than at an Approved Site.

4.4 It is unlawful to conduct burning of any solid or hazardous waste within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation at any time, except insofar as the Tribal Environmental Protection Agency may specifically permit or authorize by rule or regulation which is not prohibited by federal law. The Tribal Environmental Protection Agency may authorize by rule or regulation the infrequent open burning of agricultural waste, forestry waste, land cleaning debris, diseased trees, or debris from an emergency clean up operation within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation.

Section 5: Recovery of Disposal Costs

5.1 If an entity violates this Ordinance and the Tribe arranges for or executes the lawful disposal of the waste which is the subject of the entity's violation, the entity shall be responsible to the Tribe for all reasonable costs and expenses associated with the proper transportation and disposal of the waste.

5.2 If the Tribe or a property owner files suit to collect the reasonable costs and expenses for transportation and disposal of the waste, the Tribal court may award a reasonable amount as attorney's fees to the prevailing party.

Section 6: Enforcement: Penalties for Violation

6.1 All Tribal Environmental Officers are authorized to enforce this Ordinance by issuance of citations for violations of this Ordinance, pursuant to section 6.3 below.

6.2 All Tribal Environmental Officers are authorized and directed to enter in or upon any premises within the exterior Reservation boundaries, which are suspected of containing or having present therein or thereon any waste dumped, deposited or disposed of in violation of, or suspected to be in violation of this Ordinance.

6.3 All Tribal Environmental Officers are authorized to issue citations based on reasonable evidence that an entity has caused or facilitated the transportation, storage or disposal of waste in violation of this Ordinance, whether or not the Tribal Environmental officers witnessed the act of transportation, storage or disposal. Tribal Environmental Officers may issue citations based on evidence obtained pursuant to Section 6.2 of this Ordinance.

6.4 Assistance or collusion by any Tribal member in the violation of any provision of this Ordinance shall subject the Tribal member to the maximum penalties provided by this Ordinance.

6.5 Any person or entity that violates any provision of this Ordinance shall be liable for civil penalties of up to $5,000 per day for each day or part thereof during which such violation continues, along with reimbursement to the Tribe for actual damages caused by the violation in addition to any disposal cost incurred pursuant to section 5 above. Any intentional or willful violation may be subject to liability for punitive damages for each offense in an amount not to exceed $10,000. Each violation constitutes a separate offense.

Section 7: Effective Date

The provisions of this Ordinance will take effect immediately upon enactment. No provision of this Ordinance shall be construed to be retroactive.

Section 8: Severability

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of any remaining portion of this Ordinance.

Supplemental Documents:

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