Rep. Young Introduces Bill To Amend Clean Water Act
Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young introduced H.R. 5992 this morning which will amend the Clean Water Act to remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to veto an Army Corps of Engineers decision regarding 404 permits.
“This legislation streamlines the permitting process by eliminating a level of the bureaucracy,” said Rep. Young. “The Corps of Engineers is a very efficient and effective engineering and management agency that is more than capable of making decisions regarding permitting without being second guessed by an agency that has no real interest in resource or infrastructure development. Projects in Alaska have been shut down or delayed time and time again by the EPA, with a most recent example being the denial of Conoco Phillips’ CD-5 Alpine Satellite Development permit. These types of projects are important to the safe development of our natural resources and should not be bogged down in politics. The EPA’s involvement in such permitting is unnecessary, and must be removed.”
Currently, under section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Corps of Engineers issues permits for placing dredged material and/or fill material into an area defined as a disposal site. The Administrator of the EPA can veto a Corps' decision to issue a permit if it believes there is an unacceptable adverse impact to shellfish beds and fishery areas, municipal water supplies, recreational areas, or wildlife. However, there is no clear criterion as to what constitutes an unacceptable adverse impact.