EPA Puts Hold On Wind River Border Decision

Feb 13, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to put a hold on its decision to grant the tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring.

When the EPA granted the tribes state status for air monitoring, it drew the reservation borders to include Riverton, a move that has resulted in jurisdictional questions and concerns from city, county, and state governments. Wyoming asked the EPA for a stay and reconsideration of its decision. The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes say the EPA’s decision is correct, but both tribes also asked the EPA for a stay to provide “breathing room,” resolve jurisdictional issues and figure out how wide-reaching the EPA’s decision actually is.

The EPA agreed to a partial stay, which means that for now, its decision to treat the reservation as a state won’t apply to the disputed areas, including Riverton.

The EPA says that in granting the stay, it is not agreeing with Wyoming’s interpretation of its decision. The Eastern Shoshone Tribe, in a statement, says it “supports the partial stay because of the misinformation flooding the local community.”