The Western Governors’ Association hosted the webinar, The Importance of State Authority under Clean Water Act Section 401, on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. The webinar provided an overview of states’ legal authority to issue water quality certifications and the importance of Section 401 in the protection of the nation’s water resources.
In enacting the federal Clean Water Act, Congress established a system of cooperative federalism, whereby states – in partnership with federal agencies – are granted meaningful authority to ensure the proper balance of powers in the implementation and enforcement of the Act’s various programs. The states’ Section 401 authority has been the target of recent legislative and regulatory efforts to diminish and subordinate the states in environmental review processes.
The webinar was moderated by WGA Policy Advisor Ward Scott. Panelists included Darrell Early, Chief, Natural Resources Division, Idaho Office of the Attorney General and Jeanne Christie, Senior Policy Analyst/Executive Director Emeritus, Association of State Wetland Managers.
On Aug. 9, WGA sent a letter, co-signed by nine other associations of state officials, to Congressional leadership urging Congress to preserve state authority under CWA Section 401 and to “reject any legislative or administrative effort that would diminish, impair or subordinate states’ ability to manage or protect water quality within their boundaries.” Read, download the letter.