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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Final Determination of Indian Country Status for UIC Permitting

This Land Status Determination arises from the remand to EPA in HRI v. EPA, 198 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2000), where the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld EPA's decision to implement the underground injection control program on a 160-acre parcel of land located in the southeast portion of Section 8, Township 16N, Range 16W, in the State of New Mexico (the Section 8 land), because the Indian country status of that land was in dispute. The Court remanded the matter to EPA to make a final administrative decision on the possible Indian country status of the Section 8 land. On November 2, 2005, EPA issued a Federal Register notice (see 70 FR 66402) inviting written comments and information from the public and interested parties on whether the Section 8 land constituted a dependent Indian community in whole or in part. On February 6, 2007, after consulting with the U.S. Department of the Interior, EPA issued its final Land Status Determination concluding that the Section 8 land is part of a dependent Indian community under 18 U.S.C. section 1151(b) and, thus, "Indian country." EPA is therefore the appropriate agency to consider underground injection control permit applications under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for that land. Below is a copy of the Determination, EPA's Response to Comments received, and all of the written comments submitted to EPA during the public comment period.

EPA also intends to publish an announcement of this Determination in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Adobe Reader.

EPA Response and Determination

Land Status Determination (PDF) (24 pp, 1.48K)

Response to Comments (PDF) (10 pp, 54K)

Full List of Commenters

Arviso, Leonard (PDF) (2 pp, 255K)

Eastern Navajo Allotteess Association (PDF) (9 pp, 1MB)

Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining's ENDAUM and Southwest Research and Information Center's (SRIC) comments (PDF) (14 pp, 101K)

     Exhibits for ENDAUM and SRIC Comments
Exhibit 1: Land Status map (PDF) (1 pg, 1.3MB)
Exhibit 2: Selected characteristics from Census 2000 (PDF) (1 pg, 40K)
Exhibit 3: Church Rock Resident interviews (DVD)
Exhibit 4: Livingston Declaration (PDF) (9 pp, 40K)
Exhibit 5: Photo (PDF) (1 pg, 167K)
Exhibit 6: Mavis Smith Declaration (PDF) (50 pp, 1.1MB)
Exhibit 7: Grazing ID map (PDF) (1 pg, 40K)
Exhibit 8: Cattle photo (PDF) (1 pg, 120K)
Exhibit 9: Photo (PDF) (1 pg, 131K)
Exhibit 10: Panorama, Church Rock (PDF) (1 pg, 80K)
Exhibit 11: Capitan Declaration (PDF) (5 pp, 24K)
Exhibit 12: Water Sources in Church Rock (PDF) (2 pp, 245K)
Exhibit 13: Declaration of Dr. John W. Leeper (PDF) (24 pp, 512K)
Exhibit 14: Grazing Permit (PDF) (3 pp, 320K)
Exhibit 15: Anatomy of the Navajo Indian Reservation (PDF) (5 pp, 361K)
Exhibit 16: Land Purchase (PDF) (10 pp, 236K)

Federal Indian Law professors (PDF) (5 pp, 38K)

Gamerco Associates, Ltd. (PDF) (2 pp, 30K)

Gould, Elliot (PDF) (18 pp, 442K)

Hydro Resources, Inc. - letter from Craig S. Bartels (PDF) (1 pg, 102K)

Leggett Comments (PDF) (1 pg, 8K)

(County of) McKinley Legal Department (PDF) (10 pp, 1.4 MB)

Nabahe Comments (PDF) (1 pg, 8K)

National Mining Association (PDF) (4 pp, 32K)

Navajo Nation, Churchrock Chapter (PDF) (14 pp, 300K)

Navajo Nation, Department of Justice (PDF), Natural Resources Unit (1 pg, 25K)

Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Louis Denetsosie (PDF) (17 pp, 900K)

New Mexico Mining Association (PDF) (4 pp, 102K)

New Mexico Oil & Gas (PDF) (2 pp, 28K)

Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, JeffreyKiely (PDF) (2 pp, 19K)

NZ Uranium (PDF) (submitted by Gallagher & Kennedy P.A.) (4 pp, 892K)

Padilla, Rikki (PDF) (2 pp, 162K)

State of New Mexico, Environment Department (PDF) (7 pp, 619K)

State of New Mexico, Office of the State Engineer (PDF) (3 pp, 217K)

State of New Mexico, Representative Donald L. Whitaker (PDF) (2 pp, 127K)

State of New Mexico, Senator, Lidio G. Rainaldi (PDF) (2 pp, 134K)

Strathmore Minerals Corp. (PDF) (2 pp, 736K)

Uranium Producers of America (PDF) (2 pp, 174K)

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