Our Commitment

In 2015, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe adopted air pollution standards more stringent than the EPA’s national standards as a way to ensure a nearby coal-fueled power plant would scrub contaminants from its emissions. In 2017, our tribe submitted a Tribal Implementation Plan (TIP) to EPA to regulate air pollution within the exterior boundaries of our reservation and four tribal trust parcels. EPA’s 2021 approval of the TIP allows us to offer programs to address ambient air quality standards, permitting, open burning, and enforcement.

Ambient Air Quality Standards

EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) have two limits for most air pollutants. The “primary” standard is designed to protect the public – including children, people with asthma, and the elderly – from health risks. The “secondary” standard is to prevent unacceptable effects on the public welfare, such as damage to crops and vegetation, buildings and property, and ecosystems. To keep our people safe, our EDP evaluates and addresses ambient air quality standards for sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM10), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Open Burning Program

Open burning without a permit is generally prohibited on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

The following activities are allowed without a permit:

  • Open burning for cultural, traditional, or spiritual purposes
  • Open burning activity that is less than four feet in diameter and less than three feet in height

A permit must be obtained from our Air Quality Administrator for any open burning that is four or more feet in diameter or three or more feet in height. The permittee must notify the Air Quality Administrator at least two working days prior to commencing an open burning activity and must notify Northern Cheyenne Fire Protection no less than one hour during regular business hours prior to commencing the open burning activity.

Violation of the permitting process can result in fines up to $5,000 per day for each violation and an assessment of costs incurred by our office.