Taos Pueblo latest to develop Clean Water standards

Last June, Taos Pueblo became the 11th tribe in New Mexico to set its own water quality standards under the Clean Water Act.

The tribe won a treatment as state designation from the Environmental Protection Agency. That means other jurisdictions must adhere to the water quality standards covering 130 miles of rivers and sacred lakes.

Nationwide, 39 tribes have the authority to regulate and enforce their water quality standards. The courts have upheld amendments to the Clean Water Act that recognize tribal sovereignty.

Only Oklahoma tribes are exempt from the law. A rider prevents them from receiving a treatment as state designation without state approval.

Get the Story:
Speaking for river life (The Santa Fe New Mexican 2/12)

Related Stories
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe wins Clean Water authority (2/9)
California tribe wins treatment as state status (11/03)
Bad River Band seeks treatment as state (09/22)
Wisconsin opposed to tribe's treatment as state (02/23)
EPA to hold meeting on tribe's treatment as state (2/13)
Tribe's treatment as state draws opposition (01/25)
Inhofe defends tribal environmental rider (08/18)
EPA, state unaware of tribal environmental rider (8/15)
Tribal riders find way into transportation bill (8/11)
Rider against Oklahoma tribes blamed on Inhofe (8/9)
Bill limits treatment as state for Oklahoma tribes (8/1)
EPA case on tribal sovereignty attracts attention (06/07)
Oklahoma challenges EPA on tribal sovereignty (05/02)
EPA seeks to reduce mercury from power plants (03/16)
EPA rulings worry tribal, state officials in Oklahoma (07/26)
Tribal authority challenge denied (6/4)
U.S. backs tribal environmental rights (5/15)
Mine near Wis. reservation upheld (1/30)
Wis. tribe has hopes after cyanide ban (11/7)
State fighting tribal water ruling (11/6)
Wis. might appeal Ojibwe decision (9/25)
Challenge to tribal authority rejected (9/24)
Court rejects challenge to tribal authority (4/17)
EPA Budget: No new tribal grants (4/13)
Pueblo battles arsenic in water standard (4/16)
EPA attorney pleads guilty (06/28)