HELENA, Mont. -

Environmental regulators are asking a judge to approve an agreement with Fort Belknap Indian Reservation officials after years of "chronic violations" in how the reservation's water supply is treated and monitored.
The proposal was filed in U.S. District Court along with a complaint by the U.S. Department of Justice that says the tribal government repeatedly failed to treat, report and monitor the water supply for excessive levels of bacteria, parasites and sediment.
Environmental Protection Agency staff attorney Amy Swanson said Friday the proposed agreement has been in the works since 2009. It would require the tribes to adequately staff and oversee the water-supply systems, set compliance schedules and pay a $1,500 fine.
The agreement requires the tribal government to pay in advance the costs to operate the systems each year.