Janet Mills signs bill letting tribe regulate its water

PORTLAND, Maine — A Passamaquoddy Tribe reservation in Maine has been granted authority to regulate its drinking water, opening the door to greater sovereignty.

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law on Thursday that gives the Passamaquoddy the right to drill wells on tribe-owned land near Pleasant Point, also called Sipayik, and to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency instead of state agencies.

Tribal members testified about decades of frustration over poor water quality that sometimes caused brown liquid to flow from faucets.

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