On Tuesday, October 8, IPAA joined a broad coalition of energy infrastructure stakeholders in writing to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging adoption of the new Clean Water Act Section 401 rules. Organized by the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance, letter signers included eight labor unions and 19 trade organizations.
“…We strongly support the Proposed Rule and its provisions that clarify requirements for state and tribal implementation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The Rule is needed to provide clarity, consistency and certainty in the process for certification that energy and other infrastructure construction projects comply with applicable water quality standards.
“In the absence of definitive boundaries, some states have taken advantage of ambiguity in Section 401 to deny certification on grounds outside the Section’s purposes and intent. This has resulted in delay or cancellation of vitally needed energy infrastructure projects that would otherwise have provided consumers and our environment the tremendous benefits of increased access to affordable clean energy.
“For our industries and trades, denial or delay of certification of critical energy infrastructure projects on grounds beyond those intended by the statute has resulted in large-scale loss of work, stranded investments in equipment and materials, and inability of our businesses and workforce to plan for efficient deployment and utilization of both human and capital assets. This has deprived our families, communities and the economy of the very substantial benefits that construction and operation of the affected projects would otherwise have driven…”