Western States Water Newsletter

 Addressing Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future



State Comments on Clean Water Act – Proposed Reinterpretation of Tribal Treatment as States

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to streamline how tribes apply for treatment as states under the Clean Water Act (CWA) water quality standards program and other CWA regulatory programs.  he proposed reinterpretation of CWA 518 would eliminate the need for applicant tribes to demonstrate inherent authority to regulate under the CWA, allowing eligible tribes to implement their congressional delegation of authority without additional regulatory requirements to demonstrate that authority.  Only 40 of more than 300 federally recognized tribes with reservations have completed the process of obtaining EPA’s approval to be treated in a similar manner to a state.  EPA solicited public comments through October 6, 2015, and stated that it will contact tribal governments, tribal organizations, states, and state and intergovernmental associations to provide opportunities for consultation and coordination before the rule is finalized.  EPA received 41 comments from tribes, states, and others.

Comments from Council Member states are available here:

North Dakota
South Dakota