A SMALL group of Pueblo Indians, living just south of Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, may force city officials to spend a whopping US $250 million to clean up the Rio Grande, so they can be assured of water with the level of cleanliness needed for their religious rites. The Pueblos have invoked an 1987 amendment to the US Clean Water Act in their lawsuit, which could set a precedent for native American tribes throughout the country.
Pueblo leaders maintain the amendment allows them to set their own standards of water purity and these have been set much higher than the state government's standards. Meanwhile, Albuquerque officials have sued the US Environmental Protection Agency, which approves standards, seeking exemption.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.