- Restrict EPA’s ability to issue a revised or new water quality standard for a pollutant whenever a state has adopted – and EPA has already approved – a standard, unless the state concurs;
- Prohibit EPA from superseding a water quality certification (that a discharge will comply with applicable water quality requirements) granted by a state under Clean Water Act ("CWA") section 401;
- Prohibit EPA from withdrawing approval of a state water quality permitting program under CWA section 402 (regarding the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (or "NPDES")), or from limiting federal financial assistance for the state program, on the basis that EPA disagrees with the state regarding a (i) water quality standard that a state has adopted and EPA has approved, or (ii) the implementation of any federal guidance that directs a re-interpretation of the state’s approved water quality standards; and
- Prohibit EPA from objecting to a state’s issuance of an NPDES permit on the basis of (i) EPA’s differing interpretation of an approved state water quality standard, or (ii) the implementation of any federal guidance that directs a re-interpretation of the state’s approved water quality standards.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Leaders Introduce EPA-Limiting Legislation
On May 26, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair John Mica (R-FL-7) and Committee ranking member Nick Rahall (D-WV-3) introduced H.R. 2018 (the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011”) to "amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to preserve the authority of each State to make determinations relating to the State's water quality standards." The bill, which has 23 co-sponsors, would restrict EPA's ability to issue revised or new water quality standards without a state's permission. The bill can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF file here. Here is a link to Chairman Mica's press release accompanying the introduction of the legislation. According to that release, the bill would: