California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

LEA and Facility Operator Training

Illegal Dumping on Tribal Lands: April-November 2003

Past Illegal Dumping Training

April-November 2003
Four (4) Trainings throughout California

During the spring and fall of 2003, the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) and the Tribal Legal Development Clinic (TLDC) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law offered a training course on the topic of Illegal Dumping on Tribal Land. Illegal dumping of waste is a problem in many jurisdictions. The unique status of tribal lands adds uncommon complications to any illegal dumping enforcement actions or mitigation measures. Different provisions of federal, state and tribal law may apply to a specific illegal dumping incident depending upon the responsible party and the specific violation. The applicable law may be the subject of multiple US Supreme Court decisions and thereby complicate any citation and court case. This class was part of our LEA training program's continuing efforts to offer training on solid waste issues to the Board designated local enforcement agencies (LEA) and other interested parties.

Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping sites often contain household garbage, yard trash, tires, and household hazardous waste as well as other hazardous wastes including drug lab waste. This waste material is dumped on road rights-of-way, on rural land or on vacant urban lots. These sites may be public property or private property. Since multiple tribal, federal, state and local entities have varied authority and resources to enforce illegal dumping laws and to cleanup these sites, interagency cooperation is a successful strategy to cleanup existing illegal dumping areas and deter continued illegal dumping.

Goals of the Training

  • Allow tribal representatives and other interested parties to join with CIWMB and Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) staff to discuss the problem of illegal dumping on Tribal Lands

  • Discuss the potential of tribal agreement with state or local agencies to allow mutual cooperation to prevent illegal dumping on or near tribal lands
  • Describe CIWMB Grant Programs which may allow tribes to fund clean-up and illegal dumping prevention programs
  • Provide information resources on recycling and legal disposal options for solid waste including e-waste, used oil, household hazardous waste, appliances, and abandoned vehicles

Workshop Topics

  • Various dumping scenarios and sharing of additional scenarios
  • Tribal, federal, state and local governmental powers (criminal and civil regulatory) in Indian country
  • Multiplicity of tribal, state and local agencies involved in investigating, enforcing or prosecuting regulation offenses
  • Tribal and state statutory schemes and provisions regulating illegal dumping
  • Provisions required in intergovernmental agreements
  • Abbreviated mock negotiation of a tribal-state or local agreement


There were over Fifty (50) attendees among the four Illegal Dumping on Tribal Lands trainings held across California. The majority of the training attendees were tribal representatives.

Dates and Locations

  • Fresno--April 16, 2003
  • Palm Springs--May 22, 2003
  • Arcata--November 5, 2003
  • Sacramento--November 12, 2003

Tribal Legal Development Clinic
3220 Campbell Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548
phone: (310) 825-7315 fax: (310) 206-7060

Additional Resources

US Environmental Protection Agency

California Integrated Waste Management Board

California Highway Patrol

Training Archives Page

Last updated: September 14, 2005
LEA Training,
Martin Perez: (916) 323-0834