ACWA-ECOS joint letter in support of the Clean Water SRF submitted to House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment
In this comment letter submitted to EPA and USACE through regulations.gov, ACWA, ECOS, ASWM, and AFWA request a 60-day extension of the existing 60 day comment period for the proposed rule redefining Waters of the United States.
We encourage EPA to consider these issues during the rulemaking process, as well as the following: 1) additional uncertainty about assumable waters in response to ongoing Water of the United States proposed rulemaking; 2) limited state and tribal experience with assumption for other states and tribes to build on; 3) the possibility of allowing partial assumption; and 4) the impact of assumption on consistency with federal statutes such as the Endangered Species Act, National Historical Preservation Act, etc., considerations. Most importantly, we strongly encourage EPA to continue an engaged stakeholder process with states and tribes.
ACWA joined a broad coalition of organizations in urging Congress to provide funding for water, wastewater, stormwater and reuse infrastructure projects in any infrastructure funding packages considered during the 116th Congress.
We urge you to reject any changes to agency rules, guidance, and/or policy that may diminish, impair, or subordinate states’ well-established sovereign and statutory authorities to protect water quality within their boundaries. Any regulatory action related to states’ CWA Section 401 authority raises significant federalism concerns, and therefore, we request that EPA engage in meaningful and substantive consultation with state officials before the commencement of such action.
With the adoption of the CWA, Congress purposefully designated states as co-regulators under a system of cooperative federalism that recognizes state authority over the allocation, administration, protection, and development of water resources. Section 101 of the CWA clearly expresses Congress’s intent to:
…recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution, to plan the development and use (including restoration, preservation, and enhancement) of land and water resources, and to consult with the Administrator in the exercise of his authority under this chapter.
This declaration demonstrates Congress’s understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach to water management and protection does not accommodate the practical realities of geographic and hydrologic diversity among states.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) passed the senate as a part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act. Under VIDA, the EPA and Coast Guard must work together to develop and implement ballast water and incidental discharge standards. The goal of this act is to have a more consistent national regulatory system for ballast water… Read More »
The August 31, 2018 Federal Register Notice indicates EPA is requesting input on “possible approaches to updating the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations related to the management of peak wet weather flows at Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) treatment plants serving separate sanitary sewer collection systems.” While states have historically expressed a diversity… Read More »
ACWA Comment Letter Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science rule proposal.
ACWA joined the Western Governors Association and others in communicating to Congressional Leadership our concerns with recent efforts to limit state section 401 authority under the Clean Water Act.
The President has proposed a $200 billion initiative to stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure investment. While much of the public and congressional interest regarding the Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative has been focused on the legislative principles, the Administration is also addressing infrastructure delivery through a range of policy and regulatory changes. One of the top priorities of the Administration is to rebuild and modernize the Nation’s infrastructure. The Administration’s goal is to seek and secure long-term reforms on how infrastructure projects are regulated, funded, delivered, and maintained. By streamlining project delivery and removing barriers, the Administration hopes to incentivize and expedite the delivery of our Nation’s infrastructure.
This letter encourages USACE to consult with the states as they consider any changes to section 401 authority under the CWA.