(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—President Trump has signed an Executive Order that benefits the energy industry and will limit the ability of states to provide critical oversight. The order calls for EPA to review guidance and regulations for the state certification process and reduce the amount of time the states can take to ensure that those projects meet applicable water quality standards under state law and the Clean Water Act.
The Clean Water Act is founded upon the principle of cooperative federalism, where states and the federal government work together to restore and protect our nation's waters. This Executive Order undermines that bedrock principle, ignoring the will of a bipartisan Congress that sought to protect states' rights while at the same time insuring that our waters would be healthy and safe. That bedrock principle was upheld by the federal courts when they supported the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—a federal state partnership to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
In response, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration Lisa Feldt issued this statement.
"This action will make it more difficult for the Bay states to conduct the oversight necessary to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. Under the Clean Water Act, the states have played an essential role in ensuring the protection of water quality and the interests of their citizens. Limiting the time states have to review projects will make it much more difficult to appropriately examine the potential environmental and human health risks."