This Article, which won the 1994 R. Marlin Smith Student Writing Competition, takes a critical look at the establishment of commercial hazardous waste projects in Indian Country. The Article examines the current environment and land use planning regulatory state and attempts to establish a workable structure for such projects. The fundamental assumption is that tribal members and their governments are fully capable of intelligent calculation of the cost-benefit analyses involved in deciding whether or not to establish a solid or hazardous waste project on their lands.
The Article discusses current economic development issues in Indian Country, analyzes the complex interrelationship between self-determination and sovereignty, and examines the current case law delegating rights -- and responsibilities -- to tribal governments. Additionally, the author proposes a model system for land use planning in Indian Country, basing it on several successful initiatives utilized with the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Gila River Pima Tribe (both in Arizona) and the Campo Band of Mission Indians (in California). Finally, the Article recommends further actions which tribes should take in order to further reservation economic development.
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