Ecology director criticizes changes to Clean Water Act

EPA’s new rule would prevent states from protecting water quality within their borders

In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent rule change which would prevent the role of states in protecting water quality within their borders, the Washington State Department of Ecology Director Laura Watson responded by firmly denouncing the decision.

The EPA’s new Section 401 rule limits what types of pollution discharge a state can review under the Clean Water Act. It also limits the amount of information a state can request from an applicant, dramatically shortens the amount of review time states have to act on an application and limits the conditions that states can put into 401 certifications to protect state waters from pollution.

“With the stroke of a pen, EPA intends to handcuff Washington’s ability to protect our waters, our environment and our communities,” Watson said. “This action is a blatant attempt to rewrite the 1972 Clean Water Act by diminishing the role of the states in protecting water quality. It makes a mockery of the federal-state partnership that has protected our nation’s waters for nearly 50 years.”

“EPA’s new rule is a solution in search of a problem. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act is working as Congress intended, and continues to be successfully implemented across the country. This massive federal overreach under Section 401 is unprecedented. It is also illegal and indefensible – and it will not stand. We will work with Attorney General Bob Ferguson to defend our state’s authority to protect water quality for the environment and for the 7.5 million Washingtonians we serve.”

More in News

a
Mobile COVID-19 drive-through center opening Monday in Bremerton

Kitsap Public Health District says other mobile sites planned elsewhere in the county

a
Farmers to Families food boxes available Oct. 28

First-come, first-served supplies provided through SKSD department

Shops in Downtown Poulsbo are gearing up for Halloween with spooky decorations and seasonal wear.
Poulsbo Halloween Hunt takes place of traditional trick or treating

While Poulsbo has had to cancel its traditional Halloween celebration due to… Continue reading

.
Some going to school, but there’s no room for all

In a presentation to the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council, North Kitsap School… Continue reading

Those without insurance went to the far tent hosted by Kitsap Health District.
Drive-through gives Poulsbo a shot in the arm

Cars lined up along both Third and Moe streets for their occupants… Continue reading

The shops around Port Gamble are gearing up for Halloween, with little Pumpkins lining the walkways and fences.
Port Gamble touts paranormal tours among fun fall events

While it has had to cancel some of its popular fall activities… Continue reading

Info on R-90

Washington voters will decide Nov. 3 whether the controversial sex education bill… Continue reading

Blank Unemployment Benefits formq
Unemployment fell in Kitsap County to 6.8 percent in September

Kitsap County had one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Western… Continue reading

Fishline luncheon to raise funds for programs

Fishline Food Bank and Comprehensive Services in Poulsbo is having a virtual… Continue reading

Most Read