FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the Southern Ute Indian Tribe will become the first tribe in the nation to operate an EPA-approved Clean Air Act program for major sources of air emissions.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that EPA said Monday that the agency approved the tribe’s air permitting program after the tribe worked nearly a decade to obtain the authority.
Under the program, the tribe will issue permits and perform inspections at large stationary sources of air emissions on the reservation, such as oil and gas production sites.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe is based in Ignacio, Colo., in the heart of the natural gas-rich San Juan Basin. The tribe’s reservation is dotted with oil and gas production.