Southern Ute Indian Tribe files challenge to BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rule

By Sacha Smith

Special to The SUN

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe filed suit last week in the United States District Court in Denver against the Department of the Interior, challenging the department’s new hydraulic fracturing rule for federal and Indian lands.

The suit alleges that the rule conflicts with the Indian Mineral Leasing Act (IMLA) and asks the court to vacate those parts of the rule that violate the IMLA and frustrate the Tribe’s authority over its own lands.

“The tribe values the reservation environment, but the BLM was overreaching when it enacted this rule for tribal lands. Tribal lands should be treated differently than federal lands,” said Clement J. Frost, the Tribe’s chairman. “Some of the provisions in this new rule are just burdensome regulations that are not tied to an environmental benefit.

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