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Neighbors of Rohnert Park casino want wells monitored

For immediate neighbors of the Indian casino being built on the edge of Rohnert Park, worries about the project's impacts have been underlined by years of dread that it will drain their wells dry.

Though the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria reduced the scale of its project, and as a result slashed the estimated amount of water it would use — from 106 million gallons a year to 36 million — fears persist.

"I'm shaking in my boots," said Dennis Carrera, a Millbrae Avenue resident who lives about a mile northwest of the casino site, where two wells are to be drilled to 600 feet. That's deeper than nearly all the 200 wells within a two-mile radius of the casino, according to environmental reports prepared for the project.

In Sacramento last summer, at hearings where legislators reviewed the tribe's proposed gambling compact with the state, some residents said they feared for their livelihoods.

"If they go dry, we have to leave; we have nowhere to live," said Selena Polston, who lives on her organic farm about 1? miles from the fast-rising casino.


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