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EPA Proposes Rule to Narrow, Streamline CWA Section 401 Review

The National Law Review – August 12, 2019
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) that would make sweeping changes in how states (and certain tribes) implement section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). EPA characterizes the Proposed Rule, issued pursuant to Executive Order 13868, as “the EPA’s first comprehensive effort to promulgate federal rules governing the implementation of CWA section 401.” The Proposed Rule “is intended to increase the predictability and timeliness of section 401 certification by clarifying timeframes for certification, the scope of certification review and conditions, and related certification requirements and procedures.” EPA had previewed some of these changes in its updated section 401 guidance document (Updated Guidance), issued on June 7, 2019. The Proposed Rule is the latest in a series of recent executive and judicial developments, particularly for gas pipelines, hydropower projects, and other energy infrastructure projects, that are changing the section 401 landscape. Read full story here.

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