Walker River Paiute Tribe’s application for “Treatment in a similar manner as a State” under Section 303 and 401 of the Clean Water Act was approved by the U.S. EPA on March 2.
A signed certificate of achievement was presented to tribal chairman, Bobby Sanchez, at the Walker River Paiute Tribe Administration Building.
“I am pleased to announce that the Walker River Paiute’s will now exercise their own authority under the Clean Water Act,” stated Mr. Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administration for the Pacific Southwest. “The water on this land are integral to the tribe’s health an culture.”
Walker River is the second tribe in Nevada to gain this authority. The EPA’s decision promotes tribal self government, empowering the Tribe to develop water quality standards and to issue water quality certifications of federal actions on their tribal land in order to protect water within their boundaries. Those waters include the Walker River, Weber Reservoir and the confluence with Walker Lake.
Once the Tribe develops and EPA approves standards. The Walker River Paiute Tribe will administer surface water quality standards; building upon the existing environmental programs ran by the Walker River Environmental Department.