MJ Eckhouse, April 9, 2020
Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, April 7, the U.S. EPA sent a final rule to the White House which would severely limit Ohio’s authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate projects including pipelines, coal mines, and other extractive and environmentally dangerous activities. The rule will change regulations under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act that require states to certify whether projects will harm state water quality. In particular, it restricts procedural rule requirements and limits the ability of states to place additional conditions on projects in an effort to mitigate environmental harms. These have traditionally included important restoration and conservation efforts, like wetland creation and public land protection.
The OEC previously commented on this Clean Water Act rollback in 2019, to view those comments please click here.
The following statement may be attributed, in whole or in part, to Chris Tavenor, Staff Attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council:
“We cannot allow the White House and the U.S. EPA to continue eroding important environmental powers reserved to the states by the Clean Water Act. This regulation unlawfully takes away Ohio’s ability to protect and restore its waterways. We urge the Ohio EPA to oppose this rule. Our state elected officials, including the Ohio Attorney General, should take action to restrict the U.S. EPA’s attempt to eviscerate the cooperative federalism built into the Clean Water Act.”