INGAA sent a letter on September 25 to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regarding its outstanding rulemaking, Rights-of-Way on Indian Land. BIA recently granted authorizations to the Pueblo of Sandia and Seminole Tribe of Florida to issue business surface leases without BIA approval. INGAA is concerned that these authorization notices – specific to surface leases – may signal BIA’s approach with respect to future final regulations covering rights-of-way on Indian land.
INGAA’s letter to BIA asserts why INGAA does not believe BIA should, or can, permit tribal taxation within Indian land rights-of-way. It also reemphasizes INGAA’s prior comments on the proposed rule. INGAA stated that the proposed rule (1) unlawfully would apply retroactively to thousands of miles of interstate pipelines located within existing rights-of-way on Indian land, both tribal and allottee; and (2) expressly attempts to overturn federal judicial precedent by authorizing and recognizing tribal law and jurisdiction within existing and future rights-of-way. INGAA expects BIA to issue final right-of-way regulations late 2015/early 2016.