NHA STATEMENT ON 9TH CIRCUIT DECISION TO REINSTATE CWA 401 RULE
Washington, D.C. (February 22, 2023) – The following is a statement from Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of the National Hydropower Association on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s decision to overturn a district court’s order to vacate EPA’s Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401 rule, also known as the “2020 rule.”
“Now more than ever, America needs the clean, renewable, flexible electricity provided by hydropower. The hydropower industry applauds the Ninth Circuit’s decision to reverse a district court order to vacate the “2020” CWA section 401 rule. For the time being, the Court’s decision keeps the current water quality certification rule in place, which is designed to bring greater transparency, timeliness and certainty to the process.
“While the decision is good news, EPA has proposed a new 401 certification rule that would create uncertainty and delay for state certifications of vitally important hydropower licenses. If finalized as currently written, the proposed rule will produce negative outcomes for the hydropower industry, at a time when the nation is looking for clean energy solutions. We look forward to engaging with EPA to ensure that hydropower projects can be licensed within a reasonable timeframe.”