Wisconsin opposed to tribe's treatment as state

On behalf of Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D), the state Department of Natural Resources is opposing the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Band's request to regulate water quality standards on the reservation.

The state has no authority on tribal lands but still argues that approval of the tribe's treatment as state status under the Clean Water Act will create a "patchwork of regulations" in Wisconsin. "Under federal law, the state has no authority to set water quality standards for point source discharges on the reservation or to make water quality certifications for wetland fills on the reservation," the DNR said yesterday.

The EPA was taking comments until yesterday on the request. The federal courts have consistently upheld the right of tribes to determine and enforce their standards, even if they affect off-reservation communities. Under a Congressional rider, however, Oklahoma tribes cannot obtain treatment as state status without explicit state approval.

Get the Story:
Lac du Flambeau control over water opposed by DNR (AP 2/22)
Press Release: State of Wisconsin objects to Lac du Flambeau Treatment as a State (DNR 2/22)

Relevant Links:
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians - http://www.lacduflambeautribe.com

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