EPA Rule Gives Indian Tribes Authority to Identify Impaired Waters and Establish TMDLs

EPA has established regulatory procedures for eligible tribes to obtain “treatment as state” authority for the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) Section 303(d) Impaired Water Listing and TMDL Program. This rule enables eligible tribes to obtain authority to identify impaired waters on their reservations and to establish TMDLs, which serve as plans for attaining and maintaining applicable water quality standards (WQS). The rule is comparable to similar regulations that EPA issued in the 1990s for the CWA Section 303(c) WQS and CWA Section 402 and 404 Permitting Programs, and includes features designed to minimize paperwork and unnecessary reviews.

Why does this matter to you? The Impaired Water Listings (303(d) lists) are produced by every state and set priority for restoration and protection when it comes to each state’s waters.TMDLs establish maximum allowable “pollutant” loading in order to restore impaired waters to a better condition. Now waters on tribal lands can be afforded that same attention.

You can read about the final rule here

Source: US EPA

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