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EPA Restores Rights of States and Tribes to Block Polluting Projects

The U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restored the right of states and tribes to block projects on an environmental basis. 

This is a reversal of a Trump-era effort to prevent them from making such claims through federal clean water permitting. 

According to Reuters,  the agency issued a proposal rule to revise the 2020 Clean Water Act Section 401 certification rule by empowering states, territories, and tribes to protect their water resources and the climate by vetoing potentially hazardous projects. 

“EPA’s proposed rule builds on this foundation by empowering states, territories, and Tribes to use Congressionally granted authority to protect precious water resources while supporting much-needed infrastructure projects that create jobs and bolster our economy,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

The Trump administration has been trying to speedway big energy projects.

However, the Section 401 permitting process allowed states like New York, New Jersey, and Washington to block major pipeline routes, coal export terminals, and other projects they believed would increase greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Trump EPA administration had made it impossible for a state to block a federal water permit, except for direct pollution into state waters. 

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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