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EPA ignores Congressional law, gives Wyoming town to Indian tribes

Riverton Wyoming
Photo credit: City of Riverton

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Ignoring congressionally-mandated boundaries set in 1905, the Environmental Protection Agency has turned the Wyoming town of Riverton over to two Indian tribes.

In a surprising decision, officialsOfficials at the EPA, the Department of the Interior and the Justice Department, designated the land the property of the Wind River Tribes, according to The Daily Caller.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead petitioned the EPA to reverse the decision, and vowing not to abide by the order, and pledging to fight it in court if necessary.

“My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law,” Mead said in a statement. “This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?”

The short-term impact appears to be minimal, but the state is concerned about the long-term consequences, according to The Daily Caller, which reported:

The worry by state officials is that turning Riverton, a town of over 10,000 people, over to the tribes will come with a slew of tax and law enforcement complications. Since Riverton is now part of the Wind River reservation, it is technically no longer eligible for state services and no longer falls under local law enforcement. Mead, however, has ordered that state agencies conduct “business as usual” in regards to Riverton, meaning state services, law enforcement and regulations will continue.

“This is an alarming action when you have a federal agency step in and start to undo congressional acts that has really been our history for 108 years,” state Sen. Leland Christensen told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “with the
stroke of a pen without talking to the biggest groups impacted, andthat would be the city of Riverton and the state of Wyoming.”

The Daily Caller’ reported that the EPA did not respond to its request for comment.

Read the full report via The Daily Caller.

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