MHA Nation Objects to EPA Ruling Affecting Oil Drilling

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation) said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented a new rule without consulting tribes, reported The Minot Daily News.

The rule, issued on July 1, went into effect on August 30–shortly after the EPA approved a long-awaited key permit August 1 for the MHA Nation’s proposed refinery on its Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, according to the tribe’s press release.

The “synthetic minor source” ruling mandates oil and gas companies obtain a permit for every individual new and existing oil and gas well on the reservation. An EPA Region 8 spokesman claims the agency consulted the tribes regarding the Clean Air Act new sources and modifications. However, the permit at issue did not receive much attention.

Tribal Chairman Tex Hall said the rule will slow production as oil companies apply for permits.

“This lack of consultation (with tribes) and the loss of jobs and income is unacceptable for our tribe, especially when America is trying to create jobs,” Hall told The Minot Daily News.

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