Rep. Young To EPA: “Enough is Enough”
January 27, 2011
Alaskan Congressman Don Young introduced H.R. 517 last night 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 was introduced in the 111th Congress as H.R. 5992.
“I am reintroducing this legislation because it is important that we streamline the permitting process,” said Rep. Young. “The EPA has no real interest in resource or infrastructure development, as shown most recently by revoking Mingo Logan Spruce No. 1 Mine’s 404 permit. This permit, issued under the Clean Water Act by the Corps of Engineers, was awarded in 2007 following an extensive ten year review, before being removed in an unprecedented act by the EPA three years later.
“Projects in Alaska and across the country have been shut down or delayed time and time again by the EPA, which serves only as an extension of the Administration’s anti-resource development stance. The Corps of Engineers is more than capable of making decisions regarding permitting without being second guessed. The EPA’s involvement in such permitting is unnecessary, and must be removed.”
To view the letter Congressman Young sent to Chairman Mica asking him to make oversight of the EPA a top priority, click here.
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.