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EPA rulings worry tribal, state officials in Oklahoma

The Environmental Protection Agency determined recently that the state of Oklahoma cannot regulate water quality standards on Indian allotments. At the same time, the EPA revoked the Pawnee Tribe's treatment-as-state designation.

EPA's shifting stance comes in a long-running battle between state and tribal governments over environmental regulations. The state is objecting to tribal attempts to assert jurisdiction over tribal lands.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has gotten involved. He has asked for an investigation into EPA's handling of treatment-as-state designations in Oklahoma.

The EPA, on May 2, had granted the status to the Pawnee Tribe but revoked it a month later by saying the official who made the decision lacked the authority to do so.

Get the Story:
Wording on water worries tribes, state (The Daily Oklahoman 7/25)