March 25, 2014

Manchin, Vitter Introduce Bill to Stop EPA's Preemptive, Retroactive Vetoes of Water Permits

In 2011, EPA retroactively vetoed the Mingo Logan Coal Company's permit two years after it was issued.

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Regulatory Fairness Act of 2014, which would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) role in reviewing Clean Water Act (CWA) permits by prohibiting the agency from preemptive or retroactively vetoing a permit under Section 404 of the Act.

“For far too long, the EPA has been waging a destructive war against energy production, and it is costing countless American jobs and investment opportunities,” Senator Manchin said. “If we are ever going to recover from our fragile economy, American businesses must have certainty in the marketplace. That is why it is simply common sense to allow companies that already have been granted permits to continue the work they have started. We cannot afford to stifle energy production and good-paying jobs.”

“The Regulatory Fairness Act of 2014 would give American businesses a fair shot at going through the process of building or mining on federal lands without having to worry about politics getting in the way,” said Senator Vitter. “After seeing the EPA grossly overstep on established permitting procedures in a manner that undermines the rule of law, it is clear that this legislation is necessary to protect the system and distinctly state what the EPA can and cannot do.”

Senators Manchin and Vitter have previously worked together to defend the Mingo Logan project. Click here to read a letter the two Senators sent in August 2013 asking the EPA to provide reasons for revoking the Mingo Logan permit.

Please click here to read the text of the bill.