N. Arapaho Tribe Says A Stay On EPA’s Border Decision Could Provide “Breathing Room”

Feb 11, 2014

Credit Northern Arapaho Tribe

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has written a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put the brakes on an agency decision regarding the Wind River Reservation’s borders.

The EPA recently granted the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring, and in the process determined that Riverton is on tribal land. That decision has brought up civil and criminal jurisdictional issue for the city, and the state has requested that the EPA hold off on implementing it.

Now, the Northern Arapaho Tribe is also saying a stay might be a good idea, though not for the same reasons as the state. The Tribe's spokesman says it does not want a stay because it thinks the EPA’s decision was wrong and it does not want the EPA to reconsider its decision. Rather, it says a stay could provide some “breathing room” and a chance for tribal, city, county, and state governments to talk and work out a solution to the jurisdictional issues in question.

Meanwhile, a bill being proposed this legislative session would set aside money for the state to fight decisions like the EPA’s.