EPA Finalizes Rule Giving Tribes Clean Water Act Authority

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez (May 13, 2016, 6:22 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday unveiled a final rule that gives some Native American tribes the power to administer Clean Water Act programs and receive grants just like states.

Section 518 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the EPA to treat eligible Indian tribes with reservations in a manner similar to states for a variety of purposes, including administering each of the principal CWA regulatory programs and receiving grants under several CWA authorities, the agency said in a prepublication version of the final rule.

The EPA said in the past it has cautiously interpreted the provision and required tribes,...

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