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HJM 4: Water Quality Standards Revision Rule — 2023

Summary: HJM 4 expresses opposition to a proposed EPA Rule that would require consideration of Tribal water quality issues.

ICL's position: Oppose

Current Bill Status: Adopted

Issue Areas: Clean Water, EPA, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Native American Tribes, Tribal Treaties, Water Quality

Official Legislative Site

Rep. Judy Boyle (R-Midvale) introduced HJM 4, a non-binding memorial in opposition to the EPA’s 2023 Water Quality Standards Revision Rule that aims to revise current water quality standards as they relate to Tribal Nations.

The proposed EPA Rule would require the EPA to consider Tribal Reserved Rights when approving State Water Quality Standards. In addition the draft EPA Rule would require states to include analysis on how proposed Water Quality Standards account for and comply with any applicable Tribal Reserved Rights as part of their overall WQS submission to EPA.

The Memorial raises an interesting criticism by questioning the validity of “Indian treaties approved in the 19th century.” It is worth noting that our elected officials swore an oath to uphold the US and Idaho Constitutions, both of which were ratified a long time ago (in 1788 and 1889 respectively).