EPA seeks public comment on Red Lake Nation’s application to implement water quality standards
CHICAGO (March 26, 2021) – Red Lake Nation, a federally recognized Indian Tribe, has requested U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval for authority to regulate water quality for all surface water bodies within Red Lake Nation’s reservation in Minnesota. EPA is currently reviewing the Tribe’s application and will accept public comments until May 11, 2021.
The Tribe applied to EPA for “treatment in a similar manner as a state” for Clean Water Act Section 303(c) Water Quality Standards and 401 Certification programs. EPA’s approval would allow the Tribe to adopt and revise water quality standards and to certify that discharges comply with water quality standards for all surface waters within Red Lake’s reservation. These include 135 lakes and an estimated 371 miles of rivers and streams in the following watersheds: Upper/Lower Red Lake, Red Lake River, Thief River, Clearwater River, Roseau River, Rapid River, and Rainy River.
The Clean Water Act and several other environmental laws authorize EPA to treat federally recognized Indian tribes in a similar manner as a state for implementing and managing certain environmental programs. To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a federally recognized tribe.
- Have a governing body carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers.
- Have appropriate authority.
- Be capable of carrying out the functions of the program.
Please direct all comments by May 11 to:
Tribal Program Manager, U.S. EPA Region 5
State and Tribal Programs and Support Branch WS-15J
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
A copy of the complete application is available for review on EPA’s public notice website: https://www.epa.gov/mn/red-lake-band-chippewa-indians-minnesota-application-treatment-state-water-quality-standards