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New EPA Rules Will Protect Air Quality on Indian Reservations

Release Date: 4/11/2005
Contact Information: Doug Cole
(208) 378-5764

April 11, 2005

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published new federal rules today regulating air emissions within the boundaries of 39 Indian reservations in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR) was signed by Acting EPA Administrator Steve Johnson on March 25, and will take effect on June 7, 2005.

“These rules mark the beginning of a new era in protecting and improving air quality on Indian reservations throughout the Pacific Northwest,” said Ron Kreizenbeck, Acting Administrator of EPA’s Regional office in Seattle. “Very few federal Clean Air Act (CAA) rules currently exist for Indian reservation land because states generally do not have jurisdiction on Indian reservations and no Pacific Northwest tribes have EPA-approved rules.”

EPA developed a basic set of air rules to fill this regulatory gap, leveling the playing field so that people living on reservations will have similar air quality protections as people living outside reservations. The rules will apply to both tribal and non-tribal residents and businesses within the federally-recognized boundaries of Indian reservations. EPA plans to enlist tribal support to implement these federal rules on reservations and will continue to assist the tribes in developing their own air programs.

These new rules include a requirement for sources to report their emissions, procedures to follow during air pollution emergencies, rules for open burning and some emission limitations for industrial sources. Industrial source rules regulate particulates, sulfur dioxide, and fugitive emissions.

“We developed these rules in close consultation with Tribes and received many comments during the public comment period,” said Kreizenbeck. “Those views helped us shape the final rules, providing a solid foundation for regulating air pollution and protecting public health on Indian reservations in the Region.”

For more information contact the Region 10 office of the EPA at 800-424-4372

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