The Pueblo of San Felipe receives EPA approval to administer Clean Water Act programs
DALLAS, TEXAS (May 9th, 2023) –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the “treatment in a similar manner as a state” (TAS) application from the Pueblo of San Felipe. This approval of the TAS application means that the Pueblo of San Felipe is authorized to administer the water quality standards program under the Clean Water Act for all surface waters within the exterior boundaries of the Pueblo of San Felipe, comprising approximately 59,000 acres. The Pueblo of San Felipe is likewise authorized to administer the water quality certification program under CWA section 401 for these surface waters.
“The Pueblo of San Felipe has long maintained strong environmental programs and placed high priority on maintaining water quality within their borders,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “The Pueblo of San Felipe has demonstrated its commitment to protecting their Tribal waters and continues to develop programs that align with the CWA. We look forward to continued engagement with the Pueblo and we thank them for their coordination and for safeguarding public health.”
The Pueblo of San Felipe submitted the TAS application for the CWA water quality standards and certification programs on March 8, 2022. After going through the formal review process, the EPA approved the TAS application on April 18, 2023. The CWA and implementing regulations state that an Indian tribe must first be approved for TAS before the EPA can approve or disapprove water quality standards submitted by the tribe under section 303(c). The development of water quality standards remains subject to all requirements of the EPA’s regulations, including requirements for notice and comment.
The EPA approved the Pueblo of San Felipe’s TAS application for funding under the CWA section 106 water pollution control program in 2010. The Pueblo of San Felipe used these funds to develop quality assurance project plans, conduct water quality monitoring, and assess water quality data for their community. The data was also uploaded to the Water Quality Portal which is used by over 400 Indian tribes, states, and federal and local agencies. Additionally, the Pueblo’s staff participated in environmental training opportunities and increased monitoring efforts to assess crucial water resources.
For more information about the water quality standards program, visit our Tribes and Water Quality Standards webpage.