U.S. EPA expected to grant 30 small refinery waivers on Friday

U.S. EPA expected to grant 30 small refinery waivers on Friday

U.S. EPA expected to grant 30 small refinery waivers on Friday

The rule would not prompt the states to rule in favor of pipeline projects-it would simply require states to render a denial within a year to keep pipeline projects from ending up in regulatory purgatory.

In the past two years, the EPA changed what waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, rolled back an Obama-era plan that would have reduced carbon emission from coal-fired power plants, and proposed a rule that would allow fewer restrictions on hazardous air pollutants, among other changes.

In a response memo, the Acting Deputy Administrator Henry Darwin said the agency is "pleased" with the Inspector General's conclusion that the EPA is "in compliance" with the executive order.

The EPA rule follows a regulatory guidance letter released Wednesday by the Army Corps of Engineers that restricts the timelines for states to issue water quality certifications under the Clean Water Act. The administration has specifically criticized NY for its decision to delay and block an interstate gas pipeline, Williams Cos Inc's Constitution line from Pennsylvania, saying it has created bottlenecks and supply disruptions.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency move comes four months after President Donald Trump ordered the EPA to change a section of the U.S. Clean Water Act that states like NY and Washington have used to delay pipelines and terminals. He said it provides "needed clarity" from an industry perspective, and imposes "a federal agency "veto" when the agency determines a state 401 certification does not comply with the requirements of the Clean Water Act".

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"As expected, the EPA has released a rule that unlawfully constrains state and tribal authority and violates both the spirit and letter of the law". "This destroys jobs, hurts the economy and harms Americans in those states who would be impacted the most by rising energy costs and electrical grid problems".

"The Trump administration gives lip service to 'cooperative federalism, ' but it practices 'fair-weather federalism", he said.

"The Trump administration is undermining and attacking the Clean Water Act because it's more interested in padding corporate polluter profits than ensuring communities have access to safe drinking water", said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

A 60-day comment period will begin with publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register.

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