Today the attorneys general of Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and New York joined other states in filing a suit challenging the weakened water quality permitting rule recently finalized by the Trump Administration.
The new rule undermines states’ authority under section 401 of the Clean Water Act to ensure that projects to build natural gas pipelines, dams, and other infrastructure that require certain federal permits and licenses do not pollute state waterways.
The rule overturns states’ longstanding ability to stop or place conditions on projects that threaten to harm local creeks, streams, and rivers, and shifts final decision-making authority from the states to the federal government.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Interim Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration Alison Prost issued the following statement.
“States should have a say when major construction projects threaten to pollute their rivers and streams. The new rule eviscerates the longstanding ability of states to protect their own waterways when facing big projects. This undermines the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint’s collaborative efforts to reduce pollution to the Bay by 2025.”