Northern Cheyenne battles EPA over authority
Monday, July 21, 2003

The Environmental Protection Agency is delaying a decision to allow the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana to regulate its own water quality, The Denver Post reports.

The tribe asked for the authority in order to make sure the Tongue River isn't polluted by coalbed methane drilling. The tribe's standards would reduce the number of wells allowed upriver by one-third, according to The Post.

Regional EPA officials in Denver were set to approve the tribe's treatment as state (TAS) designation until Washington, D.C., bureaucrats intervened, tribal officials say. And now the drilling company that would be affected by the standards has hired a law firm where Mark Racicot, former Montana governor, former Republican National Committee chairman and current Bush campaign chair, is a partner.

"The bottom line is, our president [George Bush] and vice president [Dick Cheney], their big priority is opening up the Powder River," said Cheyenne President Geri Small.

Get the Story:
Methane-well fight pits reservation, EPA officials (The Denver Post 7/20)

Relevant Links:
Montana DEQ Coal Bed Methane Plan -
Coalbed Methane, Region 8 -

Related Stories:
Mont. tribe sues DOI over coalbed methane plan (05/09)
Another Interior recusal on drilling (6/13)
Public negative on drilling plan (6/10)
Recusal didn't bar Griles involvement (5/27)
Worst rating goes to DOI study (5/17)
Interior and EPA trade shots on drilling (5/14)
Griles backs out on future drilling (5/10)
Griles discounts meeting invite (5/6)
Impact of drilling ruling considered (5/3)
Methane drilling study discussed (5/2)
Industry opposed to gas ruling (5/1)
Coalbed methane leases ruled illegal(4/30)
Griles accused of intimidation (4/25)
Coalbed methane drilling pushed (4/5)
Tribes host coalbed methane meetings (4/4)
Halt in methane drilling sought (2/21)
Coal methane plan released (2/20)
EPA meets with tribes on drilling (2/14)
Mont. tribe pushing water standards (1/23)
Mont. tribe developing water standards (12/20)
Methane standards to affect tribes (9/26)

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