SELC welcomes proposed EPA rule regarding the ability of states and local residents to protect clean water
WASHINGTON — The Southern Environmental Law Center today welcomed a new rule proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to restore the ability of states and local residents to protect their drinking water, rivers, streams, wetlands, aquatic life, and other local interests after the Trump administration curtailed those authorities. EPA’s proposed rule regarding section 401 of the Clean Water Act seeks to preserve the power of states and tribes to protect local waterways and wetlands, and the ability of impacted communities to have a voice on federally approved projects that could harm clean water.
The following is a statement by Patrick Hunter, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center:
“We commend EPA for taking this step toward reaffirming the authority states and tribes are given under the Clean Water Act to ensure that federally permitted or licensed projects do not harm the rivers, streams, and lakes that we all depend on. The prior administration’s section 401 rule kept state and tribal officials from doing their jobs to protect our communities and the environment when a project with a federal permit was involved. In the South, water is a way of life – and from the mountains to the coasts, we need the ability to ensure that projects do not harm our water resources and communities.”