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EPA Limits States’ Ability To Protest Pipelines, Energy Projects

“The move changes the way the Clean Water Act has been applied for half a century.”

“The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Monday curtailing the rights of states, tribes and the public to object to federal permits for energy projects and other activities that could pollute waterways across the country.

The move, part of the Trump administration’s push to weaken environmental rules it sees as standing in the way of new development, upends how the United States applied a section of the Clean Water Act for nearly a half century. The energy industry hailed the change as a way to speed up pipelines and other projects, while environmentalists warned it could undercut state and tribal efforts to safeguard rivers and drinking water.

The new rule would set a one-year deadline for states and tribes to certify or reject proposed projects — including pipelines, hydroelectric dams and industrial plants — that could discharge pollution into area waterways. It also would limit any reviews to include only water quality impacts, based on a more narrow definition the Trump administration finalized last year.”

Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report for the Washington Post June 1, 2020.


“E.P.A. Limits States’ Power to Oppose Pipelines and Other Energy Projects” (New York Times)

“EPA Narrows States’ Veto Power Over Infrastructure Projects” (Bloomberg Environment)