On Thursday, June 2, the EPA unveiled a proposed rule that would restore states’ ability to veto Federal infrastructure projects that they think could pollute water within their borders. If finalized, the EPA’s proposed Water Quality Certification and Improvement Rule would roll back the Trump Administration’s 2020 Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule, which greatly reduced states’ ability to object to infrastructure projects. The Clean Water Act gives states the right to certify any federally-permitted infrastructure project that might discharge pollution into streams, waters or wetlands. Under the EPA’s proposed rule, a state would be allowed to determine whether “any aspect” of an entire federally-licensed infrastructure project will comply with its water quality standards, and to deny certification of the project if it chooses.
For more information, please contact a member of SGR’s environmental team