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Graves & Rouzer Welcome Supreme Court Decision Reinstating Reasonable Project Reviews under Clean Water Act

Washington, D.C., April 6, 2022 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member David Rouzer (R-NC) today applauded a Supreme Court decision reinstating a Trump Administration rule that puts reasonable limits on a Clean Water Act (CWA) review process.  The CWA section 401 process has been weaponized by some states and environmental groups to block energy and infrastructure projects they politically opposed. 

In 2021, the Biden Administration announced their intent to replace the Trump rule, and later that year, a federal judge vacated that rule following challenges from radical environmental interest groups. The judge’s action dramatically re-broadened the scope of the Clean Water Act Section 401 process beyond its intended purpose of water quality protection and gave project opponents more avenues to weaponize the regulatory process against infrastructure. The Supreme Court’s decision ensures that extremist environmental groups cannot simply rely on liberal federal judges to prematurely eliminate rules adopted by previous Administrations that they disagree with.   

“The Court’s decision to reinstate the Trump Administration’s rule is a victory for the reasonable protection of our waters that also allows for much needed energy and infrastructure projects to move forward, and it’s a win for farmers as well,” said Graves.  “This rule is crucial to prevent liberal states from vetoing projects of national significance, like the pipelines that deliver affordable gas to all corners of the country and prevent an overreliance on fuel from countries like Russia.” 

“The Court is right in its decision to reinstate the Trump-era rule to protect water quality but prevent abuse, unnecessary delays, and politicization of certain infrastructure projects involving Clean Water Act Section 401 certification,” Rouzer said.  “New critical energy infrastructure projects are desperately needed for America to return to energy independence.  This ruling brings some common sense back to the regulatory process so that these projects aren't denied simply because of political agendas.”