The National Wildlife Federation

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EPA Restores State, Tribal Water Reviews

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency’s newly finalized rule is a watershed moment for clean water protections and restores states and Tribes’ abilities to protect their waters under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. This rule replaces a Trump Administration rule that limited state and Tribal review.

"This rule ensures that the people who know these waters best are able to make thoughtful, informed decisions about projects that could harm them,” said Jim Murphy, the National Wildlife Federation’s director of legal advocacy. “If you care about safe drinking water or if you enjoy fishing, swimming or boating, you should be glad that states and Tribes are able to review proposed projects like dams, pipelines and mines.”

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act gives states and Tribes the authority to review federal permits for new projects such as dams, pipelines or roads that will impact local waters. States and Tribes have used this section of the Clean Water Act to protect water bodies in various ways – ensuring fish can complete their migrations, protecting water temperatures and flow patterns, and allowing recreational access.



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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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