AGC Testifies at Hearing on EPA’s Expanded Clean Water Act Permit Veto Authority

July 19, 2014

On July 15, the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing to explore the expanded view of authority that the courts have affirmed for EPA under section 404 (c) of the Clean Water Act. AGC’s Senior Environmental Advisor, Leah Pilconis was on hand to testify. AGC testified that the EPA’s authority should not extend beyond the traditional permit process, and that once the Corps of Engineers issues a permit, the contractor should not have to worry about a retroactive permit veto years after construction has already begun. AGC is concerned to see EPA take a much more expansive view of its authority and argue that it can come in before, during, or after the Corps has issued a permit. Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) agreed, saying in his opening statement, “Revoking a permit after it has been issued and when no violations of the permit have occurred is unsettling.  It is an arbitrary and irresponsible way for government to act.” He added, “I consider this regulatory overreach to be a fundamental property rights issue.  With this new and broad interpretation of its powers, EPA is setting itself up as the ultimate manager of land use and economic development in the nation.”

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