Idaho tribe wins treatment as state for water programs

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho has won a treatment as state designation from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The tribe will develop water quality standards for its portion of Lake Coeur d'Alene and the St. Joe River. The tribe owns the southern third of the lake, as confirmed by a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 2001.

The tribe has been fighting to clean up the lake, which suffers from decades of mining pollution. The state and some non-Indians have refused to recognize the tribe's jurisdiction.

The treatment as state program was authorized by amendments to the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Its legality has been upheld in the courts but a new Congressional rider forces Oklahoma tribes to obtain cooperative agreements with the state before taking part in the program.

Get the Story:
EPA: Coeur d'Alene Tribe can develop water quality standards (AP 8/8)

Relevant Links:
Coeur d'Alene Tribe - http://www.cdatribe-nsn.gov

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