Editorial: Southern Ute Tribe takes on air quality
"The Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado wants to take control of pollution on its land away from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

So far so good.

As the tribe's air quality program manager, James Temte, pointed out, the EPA has an entire country to regulate. If the small 1,400-person tribe is ready to look after things themselves, then they should be allowed to do so.

The Utes say they are doing this to help keep their air clean, and we hope that is the case. The reservation is the home to many oil and natural gas drilling sites, which are the primary source of pollution. If the tribe is able to strike the precarious balance between curbing overdevelopment, but not stifling economic opportunity, a happy medium would be welcomed.

The tribe must conduct the necessary due diligence to assume this responsibility. After all, it's not just their air they will be protecting.

With five air quality staffers having put in 10 years of work to lead to this day, it should be safe to assume that the tribe knows what they are seeking to do."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Southern Ute Tribe looks for answers (The Farmington Daily Times 12/4)

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Southern Ute Tribe seeks to regulate air quality (11/26)