Hon. Andrew Wheeler, Administrator Environmental Protection Agency 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20460
RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0405; Proposed Rule re Water Quality Certification
Dear Administrator Wheeler:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on EPA's proposed rule regarding the Clean Water Act's Section 401, Water Quality Certification. My industry provides the construction, equipment, materials and services needed to build energy infrastructure that is essential to our quality of life and a healthy environment.
I strongly support the Proposed Rule and its provisions that clarify requirements for state and tribal implementation of Section 401. The Rule is needed to provide consistency and certainty in the process for ensuring that energy and other infrastructure construction projects comply with applicable water quality standards.
Recently, some states have exploited ambiguity in Section 401 to deny construction permits on grounds far beyond the Section's purpose and intent. This has caused delay or cancellation of vitally-needed energy infrastructure projects, and in particular has denied consumers and our environment the tremendous benefits of access to affordable clean energy that these projects would provide.
The Proposed Rule will provide clarity and regulatory certainty, and will result in consistency in the way states exercise their authority under Section 401 by mandating timely review of applications, limiting its scope to areas intended by the Clean Water Act, and setting clear and uniform standards for implementation. It will continue to maintain effective protection of our waterways while it prevents misinterpretation of the statute's intent in ways that result in damage to my livelihood, my community and the environment.
I applaud your initiative in proposing this badly-needed clarification of Section 401 and encourage its adoption and implementation as soon as possible.
(your name will appear here)