Oct 21, 2019 Comments of AFPM, AXPC, API, DEPA and IPAA on the EPA’s Proposed Rule Updating Regulations for Water Quality Certifications under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act
This letter provides comments from the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (“AFPM”), the American Exploration and Production Council (“AXPC”), the American Petroleum Institute (“API”), the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (“DEPA”), and the
Independent Petroleum Association of America (“IPAA”) (collectively, “the Associations”), in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s” or “The Agency’s”) Request for Comments on the Agency’s Proposed Rule Updating Regulations for Water Quality Certifications under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or “the Act”). The Associations appreciate EPA’s efforts to provide long overdue updates to the regulations governing water quality certifications as well as the Agency’s commitment to pursue these regulatory reforms through transparent stakeholder engagement.
I. SUMMARY OF COMMENTS
The Associations support EPA’s proposed updates to its regulations governing water quality certifications under Section 401 of the CWA. These changes matter greatly to the Associations and their members. Our members are on the forefront of a transformational era of increased domestic oil and natural gas production. The growth of domestic oil and natural gas production and our ability to responsibly develop these resources in new areas of the country have created the need for more infrastructure to safely bring these resources to consumers, refineries, and processing facilities. For all but the staunchest opponents of any oil and natural gas developments, expanding and updating America’s energy infrastructure is viewed as a prudent investment for the safe and environmentally responsible movement of important resources to areas that need those resources. For those opposed to any oil or natural gas development, America’s energy infrastructure needs are viewed as little more than convenient opportunities to deploy regulatory strategies designed to delay needed projects and sever resources from markets. And increasingly, those regulatory tactics include use of the Section 401 certification process to attempt to delay, constrain, or altogether veto nationally important energy projects.