indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
DC Circuit strikes down EPA's rule on certain Indian lands

Filed Under: Environment | Law
More on: dc circuit, epa, jurisdiction, oklahoma, sovereignty
     

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday invalidated an Environmental Protection Agency rule that was meant cover all of Indian Country.

The state of Oklahoma convinced the court that the July 2011 rule does not apply to "non-reservation" parts of Indian Country. Specifically, this means the EPA can't regulate air quality on Indian allotments and dependent Indian communities that are not currently recognized as being a part of a reservation.

"We hold a state has regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Air Act over all land within its territory and outside the boundaries of an Indian reservation except insofar as an Indian tribe or the EPA has demonstrated a tribe has jurisdiction," the decision stated. "Until such a demonstration has been made, neither a tribe nor the EPA standing in the shoes of a tribe may displace a state’s implementation plan with respect to a non-reservation area of the state."

Oklahoma has a federally-approved state implementation plan that purports to cover Indian allotments and dependent Indian communities. Presumably, the plan wouldn't apply to lands that are under tribal jurisdiction, such as tribal trust lands.

However, a rider that was enacted into law by Congress in 2005 makes it virtually impossible for tribes in Oklahoma to exercise authority under the Clean Air Act. The rider forces Oklahoma tribes to secure a "cooperative agreement" with the state, a requirement not imposed on tribes elsewhere.

The D.C Circuit's decision to limit the EPA rule may not have a dramatic impact in Indian Country. But several tribes are in a unique situation where certain Indian allotments and other Indian lands do not fall within reservation boundaries so they may be affected.

The Navajo Nation, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Red Lake Nation and the Osage Nation submitted briefs to defend the EPA. They said the 2011 rule closed gaps in Indian Country.

"If it is held that EPA cannot issue a rule for all of Indian country the regulatory vacuum will return, at least with respect to non-reservation Indian country," one tribal brief stated. "Such a result would negatively impact air quality and dramatically increase regulatory uncertainty for tribal governments."

Turtle Talk has posted briefs from the case, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality v. EPA.

D.C. Circuit Decision:
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality v. EPA (January 17, 2014)

Federal Register Notice:
Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country (July 1, 2011)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Dave Archambault: Why the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is fighting (8/25)
Sen. Bernie Sanders joining opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline (8/25)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe chair dispels rumors about camp site (8/25)
Native Sun News: Thousands join pipeline resistance movement (8/25)
Lakota Country Times: Bill honors memory of Cheyenne woman (8/25)
John Yellow Bird Steele: A giant step forward with Black Elk Peak (8/25)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: There's more than one path to reconciliation (8/25)
Spokane Tribe hit hard as blaze destroys homes on reservation (8/25)
Hopi Tribe struggling to address high levels of arsenic in water (8/25)
Osage Nation celebrates $74M purchase of ancestral territory (8/25)
Former Navajo Nation lawmakers sentenced over fund misuse (8/25)
Ute Tribe remains busy in court with appeal in contract dispute (8/25)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe hails bid to reconsider casino ruling (8/25)
Twenty-Nine Palms Band considers expansion project at casino (8/25)
Grand Traverse Band shares gaming funds with local community (8/25)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sees strong support at pipeline hearing (8/24)
Judge takes aim at Ute Tribe after being kicked off sovereignty suit (8/24)
Lakota Country Times: County seeks compensation for trust lands (8/24)
Native Sun News: Sage remains a special plant for Native peoples (8/24)
Jim Kent: Republicans in South Dakota whine about Black Elk Peak (8/24)
Matthew Fletcher: The Supreme Court and Indian Child Welfare Act (8/24)
Kayla DeVault: Navajo Nation must take a stand on Dakota Access (8/24)
Meskwaki author Ray Young Bear wins award for poetry collection (8/24)
Puyallup Tribe acquires golf course within reservation boundaries (8/24)
Pauma Band might finally see $33.6M payment from gaming case (8/24)
Oneida Nation sends even more gaming revenues to communities (8/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe seeks prayers ahead of pipeline hearing (8/23)
Second run scheduled to raise awareness of Gold King Mine disaster (8/23)
U.S. Sentencing Commission continues work of tribal advisory group (8/23)
Chemehuevi Tribe wins decision barring county from citing members (8/23)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe joins fight against pipeline (8/23)
Native Sun News: Mario Gonzales moves from ball court to law court (8/23)
Brandon Ecoffey: The Horse Nations prepare for battle over pipeline (8/23)
Steven Newcomb: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe challenges domination (8/23)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.