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Developing a Sustainable, Diverse Air Quality Program in Indian Country

Mark A. Hutson, Air Quality Issues Affecting Oil, Gas, and Mining Development and Operations

I. History – Pathway to establishing an Air Quality Program on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation a. May 21, 1984 Public Law 98-290. The Act 1.) Confirmed the boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation (Reservation) and confirmed the Indian Country Status of all lands located within the Reservation boundaries, 2.) established that what jurisdiction the Tribe has over non-Indians is limited to non-Indian activity on trust lands b. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Section 301(d) directs EPA to treat Indian Tribes as States for the purposes of air quality programs within the exterior boundaries of the reservation or other areas within the tribe’s jurisdiction. EPA interprets the exterior boundaries of the reservation or other areas within the tribe’s jurisdiction to mean Indian Country. c. February 12, 1998 Tribal Authority Rule (TAR). Set forth the criteria federally recognized Tribes must meet for treatment in a manner similar to a State for the purposes of primacy in the development and implementation of air quality programs under the Clean Air Act. d. July 21, 1998. The Tribe submitted an application for Treatment as a State Application to EPA 1. Specific for receiving grant funds to begin an ambient air monitoring under Clean Air Act section 105. 2. For recognition as an “affected state” for the purpose of review and commenting on draft EPA permits. 3. Tribe asserted in this TAS that for the purposes of the Clean Air Act it has jurisdiction to regulate all sources of air pollution within the exterior boundaries of the reservation.