News Releases from Region 06
DALLAS – (May 14, 2019) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the Pueblo of Santa Ana’s application for treatment in a manner similar to a state (“treatment as a state” or TAS) status for certain Clean Air Act programs. In addition to other new responsibilities, this approval allows the Pueblo to apply for certain Clean Air Act funding at a reduced match of 5% and requires the state of New Mexico to notify the Pueblo of new or modified pollution sources.
“The Pueblo of Santa Ana’s efforts to build the expertise and the capacity to manage air quality programs is an important achievement,” said Acting Regional Administrator David Gray. “Promoting tribal self-governance is critical to implementing Clean Air Act programs and protecting air quality.”
The Clean Air Act allows EPA to treat eligible federally recognized Indian tribes in a manner similar to a state for implementing and managing certain environmental programs. To receive TAS approval, the Pueblo had to meet certain legal requirements, including demonstrating that they carry out substantial governmental duties and powers and have the capability to fulfil their proposed new functions. The Pueblo has an established Department of Natural Resources that develops and administers its air programs. EPA previously granted TAS approval to the Pueblo for certain Clean Water Act programs.
Several federal environmental laws authorize EPA to treat eligible federally recognized Indian tribes in a similar manner as a state for implementing and managing certain environmental programs. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Safe Drinking Water Act expressly provide the authority for Indian tribes to play essentially the same role in Indian country that states do within state lands. Tribes must apply for and receive TAS approval for each specific program or function
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