A broad coalition of labor and industry stakeholders has urged EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to adopt proposed new rules for permitting energy infrastructure projects under the Clean Water Act's Section 401 water quality certification provisions.
The coalition's letter, organized by the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), told Administrator Wheeler "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."
The letter is co-signed by twenty-seven major trade and labor organizations representing a large majority of American businesses and workers that build, supply, maintain, operate and benefit from Americas energy infrastructure. In addition to EEIA, signers include eight major labor organizations, the U.S. Chambers Global Energy Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers and numerous other trade associations representing the construction, engineering, equipment and supply sectors.
The letter also emphasizes the need for continued careful attention to protection of water quality during construction, adding that "With these needed improvements, the Rule would continue to ensure effective protection of our water resources."
EEIA's President Toby Mack noted that the breadth of the letters signatory group "is a very powerful statement about the huge stake America's workers and businesses have in continuing to develop the infrastructure that delivers our wealth of clean energy to our homes, businesses and factories. These new rules will protect construction and supply jobs while they help ensure timely completion of projects and maintain strong protection of our waters during construction."
The proposed rules were announced August 9 and were the subject of an EPA public hearing on September 5 ad 6, at which EEIA and several of its company members testified in support of adoption.