AGA-INGAA Comments (Aug. 2, 2021) Urge Caution in Revising EPA Rule Governing State Water Quality Certifications

On August 2, 2021, AGA and INGAA filed joint comments in response to EPA’s notice of intention to reconsider and revise the 2020 rule clarifying the scope of state water quality reviews under Clean Water Act section 401 for projects seeking federal permits. We noted that natural gas plays an important role in American society, particularly with respect to the nation’s ongoing transition to clean energy. However, in order to maintain the United States’ modern and environmentally sound pipeline system and to complement the growing number of renewable energy resources, EPA should establish an effective and uniform approach for state reviews regarding whether a project is consistent with water quality standards. To ensure that any revised rule will be legally durable and consistent with the Clean Water Act’s cooperative federalism scheme, we urged EPA to limit any revisions to the 2020 Certification Rule to minor clarifications until EPA has sufficient data to determine the effectiveness of the current rule.

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