August 20, 2018

MSCI Calls For Faster Approval Of Federal Projects

The Metals Service Center Institute recently joined members of the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance(EEIA) to send a letter to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) supporting S. 3303, the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018.

Sen. Barrasso is the bill’s lead sponsor.

The legislation would clarify provisions of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act relating to requests by developers of federally-permitted projects for state water quality certifications needed for final federal project approval. Specifically, the bill would require U.S. states to grant or deny those requests in a timely manner and to inform applicants within 90 days as to whether any additional information is needed to complete the review of a water quality certification. The letter explained:

“Some states have chosen to exercise their authority under Section 401 in ways that exceed the bounds of the statute. When this happens, it damages the cooperative federalism envisioned when the Clean Water Act was enacted decades ago, and creates conflict between not only a state and the federal government, but also between the offending state and multiple other states affected by its action. Action to clarify the appropriate role for a state under Section 401, as proposed in S. 3303, would restore the intended cooperative federalism.”

The letter concluded S. 3033 would “ensure that the law is interpreted and implemented as originally intended.”