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Bill treating tribe as state signed into law

A bill to designate the Southern Ute Tribe as a state under the Clean Air Act was signed by President Bush on Tuesday.

The tribe sought the designation for years but ran into objections from the state of Colorado. As a compromise, the tribe and the state created a joint air authority commission.

The bill recognizes the tribe's ability to issue civil enforcement orders for violations of its air quality standards. Any challenges to the tribe's authority will be handled in federal court.

Get the Story:
State-tribe air commission approved (The Durango Herald 10/20)

Get the Bill:
Southern Ute and Colorado Intergovernmental Agreement Implementation Act (S.551)