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EPA approves Lac du Flambeau tribe's application

Release Date: 04/14/2008
Contact Information: Don deBlasio, 312-886-4360, Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218

No. 08-OPA063

(Chicago, Ill. - April 14, 2008 ) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has granted authority to the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to run its own water quality standards program on its Wisconsin reservation. This authority is for the standards programs only. The tribe will have to submit the actual water quality standards developed to EPA for another round of review and approval.

The Clean Water Act allows tribes to run their own water programs in a manner similar to states. Currently, EPA is responsible for carrying out provisions of the Clean Water Act on the reservation. In 2005, the Lac du Flambeau tribe applied to EPA for authority to establish its own water quality standards for surface water within its reservation. The reservation contains many lakes and water resources that support a variety of uses, including drinking water, fishing, boating and rice growing.

Forty tribes across the country have been authorized to run their own water programs including three other tribes in the Great Lakes region - the Mole Lake Band of Sokaogon Chippewa in Wisconsin, and the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa and Grand Portage Band of Chippewa in Minnesota.

More information about this decision and EPA's responses to comments received from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the public are available on

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