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SWS and Scientific Societies Comment on EPA Proposed Rule to Update Clean Water Act Regulations on Water Quality Certification
SWS and eight other scientific societies submitted comment letters on October 21, 2019 in opposition to the EPA's proposed rule "Updating Regulations on Water Quality Certification" https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/updating-regulations-water-quality-certification. The proposed rule provides no scientific basis for how it would contribute to upholding the mandate of the Clean Water Act to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. The proposed rule would fundamentally undermine the effective and successful model of cooperative federalism that currently embodies the Water Quality Certification program and the Clean Water Act by limiting states' and tribes' role and authority in implementing Water Quality Certification. Federal agencies would be able to limit states' and tribes' decision-making timeframes; limit states' and tribes' scope of review; and overrule state and tribe water quality decisions at federal discretion (i.e. essentially have veto power). While asking for comment on over 100 specific elements of the proposed rule, the EPA allowed only a 60-day public comment period, a much shorter time period than has typically been provided for public comment.
Read Science Societies 401 Water Quality Certification Letter.
Read SWS 401 Water Quality Certification Comment Letter.