Title

Regulatory Inconsistencies in the Safe Drinking Water Act: Public Water System Supervision Program in Indian Country and the Effects on Public Health

Date of Award

3-15-2007

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy And Management

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy And Management

Advisor

Kenneth Mesch

Keywords

Drinking water -- Law and legislation -- United States; Drinking water -- United States; Indian country; Indians of North America -- water rights; public health; regulatory inconsistencies; Safe Drinking Water Act; United States -- Safe Drinking Water Act

Abstract

Through treaties, Indian law, and tribal policies, the United States Federal Government is obligated to protect the public health of the American Indian population while upholding tribal sovereignty through government-to-government relations. In fulfilling its trust responsibility, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must directly implement the Public Water System Supervision Program authorized by the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. However, due to regulatory gaps and Indian policies, EPA's regulatory authority is not equitably implemented throughout the nation. An historical account of Indian law and policy development, as well as an overview of traditional Native beliefs and lifestyles, frame the current status of American Indian health and the tribal governments' complex relationship with the Federal government and its enforcement of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations in Indian country.

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