West Virginia’s three members of the U.S. House of Representatives are co-sponsoring a bill in a bipartisan effort aimed at restricting the EPA’s authority to veto permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

McKinley (R-W.Va.) introduced the legislation clarifying that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have retroactive veto authority under Section 404 (c) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Original co-sponsors include Representatives Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Nick Rahall (R-W.Va.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Bob Gibbs (R-OH). Representative Gibbs is the current Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The legislation was prompted by the EPA’s decision earlier this month to withdraw the use of certain waters as disposal sites for discharges of fill material authorized under a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit issued in 2007 in connection with the Arch Coal, Mingo Logan, Inc., Spruce No. 1 Surface Mine, located in Logan County, West Virginia. This unprecedented action was the first time EPA retroactively vetoed a validly issued existing 404 permit. Congressman McKinley's legislation would prevent similar action from occurring in the future.


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