EPA Proposes to Establish First-Time Clean Water Act Protections for Over 250 Tribes

EPA’s proposed baseline water quality standards would usher in new Clean Water Act protections for Tribal Nation waterways

May 3, 2023 WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed federal baseline water quality standards for waterbodies on Indian reservations that do not have Clean Water Act standards, ensuring protections for over half a million people living on Indian reservations as well as critical aquatic ecosystems.

Fifty years ago, Congress established a goal in the Clean Water Act (CWA) that waters should support fishing and swimming wherever attainable. All states and 47 Tribes have established standards consistent with that goal. However, the majority of U.S. Tribes with Indian reservations lack such water quality standards. This proposal would extend the same framework of water quality protection that currently exists for most other waters of the United States to waters of over 250 Tribes and is the result of decades of coordination and partnership with Tribes.

“President Biden has made it clear; all people deserve access to clean, safe water. Today’s proposal is a monumental step forward in our work with Tribal governments to ensure precious water resources are protected,” said […]

Full article: www.epa.gov

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