EPA proposal targets states ability to set conditions
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota officials have warned a federal agency that a proposal to streamline water quality laws would cripple their authority to protect drinking water, streams and wildlife from dozens of new projects each year.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal targets Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which allows states to set their own conditions, conduct reviews and approve or deny projects that could potentially pollute waterways.
The change would give federal authorities power to dismiss conditions set by states or tribes and allow the EPA to overrule a state’s project denial. It would also prevent states from studying indirect sources of water pollution.
A Minnesota Chamber of Commerce official says some businesses welcome the changes.
The EPA says states use their authority to impose conditions not related to water quality.