Monday, February 17, 2020

Cortina Band of Winton Indians gain state-like authority under Clean Water Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved an application from the Cortina Band of Wintun Indians in which they requested “treatment in a similar manner as a state” per the federal Clean Water Act.


The decision, marked at the EPA’s San Francisco offices with a ceremonial presentation of the Certificate of Achievement to Tribal Chairman Charlier Wright, makes the Cortina Band the fifth tribe in California to be granted this authority. The tribe will now be responsible for the development of water quality standards within their reservation, which comprises 640 acres in the Northern California Coast Range, roughly 70 miles from Sacremento in southwestern Colusa County.

Once the tribe’s water standards are approved by the EPA, tribal authorities will be responsible for administering them and building on ongoing environmental programs previously established by the Wintun Environmental Protection Agency. Waters now included under the tribes jurisdiction include Strode Canyon Creek and Strode Spring.

“The Cortina Band is now legally recognized as the government entity charged with protecting its water resources,” EPA Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Alexis Strauss said. “The streams and springs on their land are integral to the tribe’s health and heritage.”





Organizations in this Story

EPA Region 9 (Pacific Southwest)

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