Maine tribes disappointed by defeat in court

The Passamaquoddy Tribe and Penobscot Nation are disappointed by a federal court decision that blocks them from regulating water quality on their reservations in Maine.

The tribes opposed the state's plan to regulate water affecting their lands. But the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the state's authority, saying the tribes lost some of their sovereignty under land claim settlement acts.

Tribal leaders, however, saw some hope in the decision. They said the Environmental Protection Agency could play a role in overseeing the state's regulation in order to protect tribal subsistence rights.

The tribes depend on fish and water from rivers that the state has the power to control.

Get the Story:
Court's rejection of water case disappoints Maine Indian tribes (The Bangor Daily News 8/10)

Court Decision:
Maine v. EPA (August 8, 2007)

Relevant Documents:
EPA Federal Register Notice | PDF version

Relevant Links:
Penobscot Nation -
Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point -
Passamaquoddy Tribe, Indian Township -

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