Don Santa, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act Section 401 guidance:
"INGAA welcomes this guidance from EPA and supports effective implementation of the Clean Water Act and the protection of water quality. We also respect the important role that states and tribes play in ensuring these shared objectives.
"When an infrastructure project requires federal authorization, Section 401 of the Clean Water Act provides states and tribes the opportunity to certify or deny that any discharges from the project to regulated waters will comply with applicable federal water quality standards. The statute recognizes the distinctive roles of the federal and state governments in the environmental review of infrastructure projects. Recently, however, the balance between those roles has been disrupted and some states have viewed Section 401 as means of determining which interstate pipeline projects are in the public interest and which are not.
"Congress charged EPA with administering the Clean Water Act and overseeing the implementation of Section 401. EPA’s guidance is needed to restore efficient and consistent implementation of Section 401 reviews. Accordingly, we welcome this guidance as clear guideposts for federal, state and tribal authorities are needed that respect and support the important and distinctive roles of each participant."