MT tribes to take over oil-well regulation

Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation want to take the federal government’s place in regulating a type of well associated with oil and natural gas projects on the northeastern Montana reservation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office in Denver has found the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes capable of issuing permits for the wells and regulating them. The agency plans a public hearing Feb. 29 at Fort Peck Community College in Poplar.

The tribes would become the nation’s first to oversee the permitting and regulation of underground wells that are injected with a type of salty water that is a byproduct of oil and natural gas production, said Steve Minter, environmental protection specialist at EPA’s regional office.

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