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Tribe director wins environmental award

PALA, Calif. – A director in the Pala Band of Mission Indians environmental program received an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Lenore Lamb received the honor for her leadership and commitment to environmental protection for the Pala Band and other tribes. Lamb was instrumental in securing funding for critical environmental programs, including a one-of-kind transfer station in San Diego County.

“It is a great pleasure and honor that we can recognize the innovative and important environmental work achieved by this year’s impressive group of organizations and individuals, and the example they set for all of us to follow,” said Laura Yoshii, the EPA’s acting administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “This year’s winners and nominees have made superb efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land, and increased awareness of the environmental challenges we all face.”

Lamb oversaw the design and construction of Pala’s transfer station, which opened last year. It includes an area for electronic waste collection, a green waste and composting program and a secured hazardous waste collection location. The facility maintains a buyback center for certain recyclables and a used oil collection program. It is open to the public.

Lamb and her “Green Team” made up of casino and tribal representatives meets regularly to discuss pollution prevention strategies and address changes needed to reduce waste and conserve resources.

Pala and other tribes view Lenore as an expert in solid waste and seek her advice on a variety of solid waste management and enforcement issues.

“Lenore’s efforts have helped Pala implement environmental programs on both the reservation and in the casino,” said Pala Chairman Robert Smith. “Her leadership has helped us reduce our environmental footprint and operate more efficiently. The Pala Band is proud to have Lenore at the helm of its EPA program and believe her award is well-deserved.”