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EPA to hold public meeting about Lac du Flambeau Band Clean-Water application Feb. 15

Release Date: 02/03/2006
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218

For Immediate Release
No. 06 - OPA022

CHICAGO (Feb. 3, 2006) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, Feb. 15, to answer questions about the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa's application for federal authorization to administer its own water quality standards program under the Clean Water Act. The meeting will be held at the Lac du Flambeau Public School, 2899 state Highway 47 S., Lac du Flambeau, Wis., from 7 to 9 p.m. Persons needing special accommodations should call EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Don de Blasio at (800) 621-8431.

EPA is reviewing the application and the state of Wisconsin has until Feb. 21 to submit its comments. Local governments and residents should submit their comments to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources by Feb. 20.

EPA said approval of the application would allow the band to develop, and upon separate EPA approval, adopt, review and revise water quality standards on its reservation under provisions of the Clean Water Act and to certify that discharges comply with the band's standards for surface water. Water quality standards help protect and improve water quality, but they do not impose any directly enforceable requirements on any party. If the application is approved, the tribe would next submit proposed standards to EPA for review and approval. Like the state, the tribe is required to provide public notice and review comments on proposed water quality standards.

Since 1989, 34 tribes in the United States have been authorized to administer water quality standards. These include three tribes in EPA Region 5: the Mole Lake (Sokaogon) Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin, and the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa and the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa in Minnesota.

Comments should go to Todd Ambs, water division director, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, fax: (608) 266-6983, e-mail: todd.ambs@dnr.state.wi.us.

A fact sheet and the band's application will be posted on EPA's Web site: www.epa.gov/region5/water/wqs5/wqstribes.htm

The application may also be reviewed at the Minocqua Public Library, 415 Menominee St., Minocqua; the Lac du Flambeau Natural Resources Department [call (715) 588-4213 for appointment]; and at the EPA Region 5 office, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago [call Dan Cozza, (312) 886-7252].

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