The Pueblo received EPA approval to administer the water standards for an area including Rio Pojoaque, Rio Tesuque and Rio Nambe in 1996, after having achieved the requirements of federal recognition, formation of a governing body, jurisdiction and administration capability. The Pueblo proposed these revisions earlier this year, holding a public meeting in September and notifying relevant tribal, state and federal government organizations.
“The Pueblo of Pojoaque is preserving ecosystems that are essential to tribal lands,” EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said. “The Pueblo’s leadership will strengthen its ability to restore and maintain its water resources.”
The water quality standards requirements set forth by the Clean Water Act are intended to protect and restore the country’s bodies of water, determining chemical, physical and biological expectations. The standards are used in a variety of applications, including the issuance of permits and informing the monitoring and assessment of surface waters. The EPA’s 1984 Policy for the Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian Reservations gave tribal authorities the ability to administer environmental needs like water quality standards, making it the first federal agency to do so.