WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) memo directing the Office of Water to make commonsense changes to EPA’s regulations covering how the agency usually considers dredge-and-fill permits.
Dredge-and-fill permits are issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The changes outlined in the memo include eliminating EPA’s ability to veto a permit after it has been approved. Barrasso is an original cosponsor of the Regulatory Certainty Act (S. 3009), introduced by Senator Shelley Moore Capito on June 6, 2018. The Regulatory Certainty Act limits the time frame in which EPA can review dredge-and-fill permits. EPW members Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and John Boozman (R-AR) are also cosponsors.
“Through this memo, EPA has signaled that it will provide businesses, including energy companies, with the certainty they need to secure permits under the Clean Water Act,” said Barrasso. “In the past, the agency has sent mixed messages to companies seeking permits. Today’s action is the first step to stop the agency from unfairly using the permitting process to slow projects. Congress should also pass the Regulatory Certainty Act to give businesses the long-term certainty they need.”