Press Release

OEC Statement on the Final U.S. EPA 401 Water Quality Certification Rule

Washington, DC — U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced changes to the Clean Water Act today that alter the 401 Water Quality Certification process, an important tool used by states to mitigate the harmful impacts of projects that would negatively impact water quality. The U.S. EPA’s new rule puts polluter interests before the health and safety of the public, undoubtedly jeopardizing Ohio’s wetlands, rivers and streams.

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Chris Tavenor, Staff Attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“The United States is in the middle of a public health crisis threatening the lives of every person in this country, but the Trump Administration continues to slash environmental regulations which protect water quality. The U.S. EPA’s new regulation covering the 401 Water Quality Certification process significantly restricts the ability of states, including Ohio, to control polluting projects.

“At a time when our communities need clean water the most, the Trump Administration’s EPA is moving in the wrong direction. The OEC opposes the proposed rule and urges the U.S. EPA to reverse course, creating a Water Quality Certification program that cooperates with the states, rather than eliminates their oversight role entirely.”