Environment | National

Northern Arapaho Tribe seeks delay in EPA authority dispute

The Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to delay implementation of a controversial regulatory decision.

The EPA granted treatment as state status to the tribe under the Clean Air Act. The decision only applies to air quality on the Wind River Reservation but state officials claim it will affect law enforcement, taxation, jurisdiction and other issues.

“We all need to work together to protect our citizens and their children from the fear and suspicion inflamed by the state’s petition,” the tribal council wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, The Casper Star-Tribune reported. “One effect of a stay may be to dampen the anti-Indian sentiment and allow the state time to do its homework on jurisdiction in Indian Country.”

The state has already filed an objection to the EPA's decision. A lawsuit is expected to be filed in federal court next week, the paper said.

The EPA also granted treatment as state status to the Eastern Shoshone Tribe.

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