October 18, 2019
The Honorable Andrew Wheeler Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Administrator Wheeler:
We write to you on behalf of the nation’s governors regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently proposed rule, “Updating Regulations on Water Quality Certification” (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0405).
As governors, we are committed to ensuring that state authority to maintain and protect water quality is preserved. The Clean Water Act makes clear that it is the policy of Congress to recognize, preserve and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce and eliminate water pollution. It is critical that States are actively involved in a cooperative effort to develop any policy and administrative procedures that impact water quality.
We are concerned that the proposed rule would impact vital authority that Congress preserved for the States under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. We urge EPA to take these concerns into consideration before the publication of any final rule, and we ask that you create meaningful and substantive opportunities for governors to provide input on its development.
We stand ready to work with you to ensure any regulatory changes protect health and safety, provide certainty and stability, and preserve states’ authority.
Governor Janet Mills
Chair, Natural Resources Committee
National Governors Association
Governor Larry Hogan
Chair, National Governors Association