"EPA Plans To Revisit State Request For Tribal Land Oversight"

"OKLAHOMA CITY — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday it plans to withdraw and reconsider a decision made under the Trump administration that allowed the state, not tribal nations, to regulate environmental issues in Indian Country.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, had requested the authority last year, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court determined in a landmark ruling known as the McGirt decision that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma remains a Muscogee (Creek) Nation Indian reservation. Since then, the tribal reservations of five other Native American tribes stretching across virtually the entire eastern half of the state have been determined by courts to remain intact.

The EPA said in a press release that its decision was made after extensive consultation with Oklahoma’s 38 federally recognized tribal nations and the concerns many of them had with the agency’s previous decision."

Sean Murphy reports for the Associated Press December 22, 2021.

Source: AP, 12/23/2021