EPA Proposes Updates to Certification Process for Natural Gas Infrastructure

News Release August 09, 2019

Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) welcomes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rule issued today to implement Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposed rule would streamline the process for obtaining state water quality certifications for federal permitting of natural gas infrastructure, while continuing to ensure clean water.

"This important step will help ensure that Americans have access to clean, affordable natural gas to meet their energy needs," said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert. "We have a domestic supply of natural gas that is the envy of the world and the 401 process has been misused by a few states to hold up important infrastructure - denying our nation and our citizens the environmental and economic benefits that natural gas provides. We are pleased to see EPA take this step to clarify the timeline and scope of CWA Section 401 certification review."

Section 401 of the CWA gives states and authorized tribes the authority to assess potential water quality impacts on local waterways due to discharges (if any) from federally permitted infrastructure projects.

The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 75 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 71 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than three-tenths of the United States' energy needs.