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August 26, 2019

EPA Releases Draft Rules To End State Delays To Pipeline Construction

For several years, pipeline projects have been stopped or slowed by permitting hurdles thrown up by a number of state governments. According to the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), which MSCI is a member of, some states, primarily in the northeast and on the West Coast, have abused loopholes in existing federal-state permitting rules to delay or stop projects.

Closing those loopholes has long been a top EEIA priority, and President Donald Trump recently directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop new rules to clarify states’ authorities in permitting and ensure that their role is confined to the intent of the federal Clean Water Act.

The EPA released those regulations last week and now they will be subject to a 60-day period for public comments and recommendations. After the EPA considers the comments it has received, the proposed rules could be altered and then finalized and implemented. The EEIA supports the rules as written and believes the proposal will go a long way to restricting states’ ability to game the system to prevent projects from moving forward on grounds not intended by the Clean Water Act.

Opponents of pipelines are likely to mobilize to oppose the draft rules, so EEIA has asked all entities – associations, businesses and individuals – to submit comments outlining how the proposed changes will create jobs, keep energy prices low and increase economic growth. Click here to use EEIA’s portal to submit your own comments.

The comment period is open until October 21, 2019.