A new proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would weaken the ability of states to regulate their own waters. The rule, proposed by EPA on August 12, will have a 60-day comment period that begins when the rule is published in the Federal Register (which had not happened as of August 15). Among the changes in the Clean Water Act that the proposed rule would bring about is to tighten the time requirements by which a state must act on a Section 401 certification for infrastructure projects (like natural gas pipelines), and provide the EPA the right to treat a state’s denial of a 401 certificate as if it were a waiver, thus effectively giving the EPA a veto over a state’s action on a 401 certificate issue. The EPA plans to finalize the new rule in May 2020.
Water Rule Rewrite Would Weaken Requirements for Pipeline Projects