EPA Seeking Input on Changes to Clean Water Act Permitting Process

The federal Environmental Protection Administration has released proposed numerous changes to the Clean Water Act, including a potential “veto” of permits authorized under its Section 404, regulating dredged and fill material in public waterways. EPA is currently seeking comment on the proposals.

From coverage on the NACo website:

The Section 404 program regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into a “water of the U.S.” These permits are often required for road and levee construction, beach nourishment projects, commercial building and land reclamation.

The EPA is seeking input on potential revisions to the Section 404(c) process. During the presentation, the agency listed four areas in which they are seeking input:

  • Should the EPA’s Section 404(c) regulations be revised to identify considerations for when the agency initiates a Section 404(c) review, either before a Section 404 permit application has been submitted or after a Section 404 permit has been issued?
  • Should the EPA’s Section 404(c) regulations be revised to identify how EPA Regional Offices coordinate with EPA Headquarters prior to taking action on the first three steps of the 404(c) review process?
  • Should the EPA’s Section 404(c) regulations be revised to reference the permit elevation procedures established pursuant to Section(q) of the Clean Water Act if applicable?
  • Should the EPA’s Section 404(c) regulations be revised to describe a specific process for how to modify or withdraw a Section 404(c) Final Determination?

 

EPA LogoEPA is accepting pre-proposal comments through September 13, 2019. Comments can be submitted to 404cRuleStates@epa.gov. In addition, EPA will hold an informational webinar on September 4, 2019 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. If you wish to participate in the webinar, please register at: https://tinyurl.com/404cRuleIntergov.

For more information, visit the NACo website for additional coverage, or the EPA Section 404 main page.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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