• U.S. Chamber Comments on Section 401 of the Clean Water Act

October 22, 2019

Dear Administrator Wheeler:
The National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (together, “the Associations”) appreciate the opportunity to comment on EPA’s proposal to update its regulations governing water quality certification under Clean Water Act (“CWA”) section 401.1 EPA’s proposed updates and clarifications would go a long way toward providing clarity, regulatory certainty, and predictability to the section 401 certification process. The Associations appreciate that the majority of section 401 certifications are issued in a timely manner and are appropriately focused on compliance with water quality requirements. That said, we are aware of some troubling instances where the certification timeline has been dragged out or the scope of the analysis expanded well beyond what Congress envisioned when it enacted section 401. The proposed revisions to EPA’s outdated regulations are properly tailored to respect the balance that Congress struck between federal and state authorities and between protecting water resources and reducing delays in federal licensing or permitting proceedings.