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Court allows Riverton hospital to enter lawsuit

Riverton Memorial Hospital may argue that a federal agency’s determination that Riverton and surrounding areas remain Indian Country already is hurting the hospital and area businesses.

The hospital supports the State of Wyoming and others in opposing a 2013 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision that Riverton and roughly 1 million acres of surrounding land remain part of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Despite tribal opposition, a two-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the hospital may file a friend-of-the court brief.

The hospital says a recent medical malpractice claim filed against it in tribal court underscores problems with the EPA ruling.

The EPA made its boundary decision in granting a tribal application to treat the reservation as a separate state under the Clean Air Act.

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