The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a final rule to further streamline the construction of critical energy infrastructure projects. The rule increases the transparency and efficiency of the Clean Water Act Section 401 certification process in order to promote the timely review of projects while continuing to ensure that Americans have clean water for drinking and recreation. President Trump last April ordered the agency to accelerate and promote the construction of natural gas and oil pipelines and other key infrastructure.
The new rule comes after a number of states, the latest to include New York and Washington, have blocked critical infrastructure projects.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“GAIN applauds the EPA for this final rule and for its ongoing efforts to promote energy infrastructure development while continuing to protect our nation’s land, air quality, and waterways. It is essential that the federal government ensure a straightforward permitting and approval process that provides developers with regulatory consistency and clear guidelines. Unfortunately, a number of states have blocked the construction of much-needed energy infrastructure projects using their authority under Section 401 – despite meeting the necessary requirements. These objections, however, have often been based in an ideological opposition to the use of fossil fuels rather than legitimate concerns regarding the state’s waterways. This newly enacted rule sends a strong message that environmental stewardship and responsible infrastructure investment are not mutually exclusive.”