Press Release

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

Washington, DC — Yesterday, the Trump Administration published its final 401 Water Quality Certification Rule in the Federal Register.  U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced changes to Clean Water Act regulations, dramatically altering the 401 Water Quality Certification process, an important tool used by states to reduce the harmful impacts of projects negatively affecting 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:

“Amid a public health crisis when clean water is more important than ever, the Trump Administration continues to roll back Clean Water Act regulations. The U.S. EPA’s new regulation covering the 401 Water Quality Certification process significantly restricts the ability of states, including Ohio, to prevent potential pollution in our waterways.

“The OEC opposes the new rule and urges the U.S. EPA to reverse course, creating a Water Quality Certification program that cooperates with the states rather than eliminating their oversight role entirely. We urge state officials to do everything in their power to retain Ohio’s authority to protect its waterways.”