Environmental Protection Office (EPO)

The La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians established the Environmental Protection Office (EPO) in 1999 with the intent to work on water resource and water quality concerns. Over the years the EPO has implemented many successful programs and accomplished many important tasks. The Environmental Director is the primary responsible person in charge of environmental protection on the Reservation. Assisted by the Environmental Manager, together they oversee all programs and staff within the EPO. The Environmental Director reports directly to the Tribal Chairperson.

The Mission of the EPO is simple:

“To Protect the Health of the People and the Environment of the La Jolla Indian Reservation”

To accomplish this mission the EPO has four core programs and implements special programs and projects as needed. These programs are grant funded by various federal agencies and the EPO also works closely with various state, local, and private agencies and organizations.

The five core programs are:


  • Indian General Assistance Program ←(this title will be a link to the program)

  • An EPA program that funds the basic operations of the Environmental Protection Office built primarily around capacity building

  • Clean Water Program ←(this title will be a link to the program)

  • Funded by EPA under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act, this program conducts water quality monitoring of surface waters on the Reservation

  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program ←(this title will be a link to the program)

  • Funded by EPA under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, this program addresses potential sources of pollution to protect, maintain, or improve water quality.

  • Air Quality Program ←(this title will be a link to the program)

  • Funded by EPA under Section 103 of the Clean Air Act, this program conducts monitoring of air quality and meteorological parameters and also addresses indoor air quality issues.

  • Solid Waste Program←(this title will be a link to the program)

  • The Tribe funds and operates a transfer station with a State certified beverage container recycling program and manages collection and recycling or responsible disposal of household hazardous waste, electronics waste, scrap metal, and will soon implement paper recycling and composting


Over the years the EPO has implemented numerous other projects such as:

  • Construction of a solid waste transfer station and various recycling programs

  • Construction of a wastewater digestion and evaporation system

  • Implementation of various environmental protection ordinances

  • Completion of a wetlands assessment program

  • Participation in the U.S. EPA Border Program

  • Completion of a waste tire cleanup program

  • Disaster recovery and cleanup efforts

  • Obtaining emergency drought assistance

  • Implementing a Geographic Information System

  • Maintaining compliance with federal environmental regulations

  • Assisting the La Jolla Water Department with drafting a Drought Management Plan, maintaining compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, and completion of various water supply projects including a hydrogeologic study and test/monitoring wells

  • Conducting environmental assessments for various projects

  • Collaborating with Federal agencies such as EPA, BIA, BOR, FWS, USDA, NRCS, among others to achieve common goals.

  • Hosting an annual Earth Day celebration and educational outreach event

  • Being a founding member and serving of the Board of Directors of the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition (NAEPC)

For more information, click on the links above or contact the La Jolla Environmental Protection Office at (760) 742-3790, epo@lajolla-nsn.gov, or go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LaJollaEPO


EPA General Assistance Program (GAP)

EPA Clean Water Program (CW)

EPA Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program (NPS)

EPA Air Quality Program (Air)

La Jolla Solid Waste Program (SW)