EPA Rule Would Accelerate Pipeline Approvals

By CT2 Staff16 August 2019

Gas industry groups praised a proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that would mandate faster state reviews of federal pipeline permitting.

Sect. 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) lets states assess potential water quality impacts of discharges from federally permitted or licensed infrastructure projects that may affect navigable waters within their borders.

“Some states have viewed Sect. 401 as a means of determining which interstate pipeline projects are in the public interest and which are not,” said Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. “EPA’s draft rule is necessary to restore efficient and consistent implementation of Section 401 reviews.”

Dena Wiggins, president and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association, said, “Clearly establishing a very reasonable one-year deadline for states to act on water quality concerns related to project permits reaffirms the states’ roles while helping to prevent instances where states have misused the certification process as a political tool to indefinitely delay or block a much-needed project.”

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the agency wants to ensure that states adhere to the statutory language and intent of the CWA. “When implemented, this proposal will streamline the process for constructing new energy infrastructure projects,” he said.

The Sierra Club said the proposed rule “would severely limit the time and tools available to states to properly evaluate the effect federally permitted projects, like pipelines or fossil fuel facilities, would have on waterways.”

After a public comment period, EPA may proceed to issue a formal rulemaking. If a final rule is promulgated, environmental groups are expected to sue to block it.

MAGAZINE
NEWSLETTER
Delivered directly to your inbox, CompressorTech² News features the pick of the breaking news stories, product launches, show reports and more from KHL's world-class editorial team.
Latest News
Low-emissions package from Aggreko
1300 kW system designed to meet strict emissions guidelines
97% of space booked for Bauma 2022
World’s largest construction trade fair confirms high level of participation
Use of fuel cell vehicles expected to increase in the U.S.
Rapidly developing technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions