EPA Issues Final Rule to Prevent States from Blocking Pipelines

In April 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) instructing the Environmental Protection Agency to review Section 401 of the Clean Water Act–the section that grants states (and tribes) the right to have a say in pipeline projects (see Trump Signs Executive Order Making it Harder to Block Pipes). In keeping with the EO, the EPA issued a draft new rule in August 2019 tightening up standards used in Section 401, creating new boundaries so states like New York and Washington can’t continue to “color outside the lines” by rejecting pipelines for political reasons, as they have both done (see EPA Issues Proposed New Rule for Section 401 Water Permits). Yesterday the EPA released the final version of the new rule.

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