IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 6, 2018
Mrs. Capito (for herself, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Boozman, and Mr. Inhofe) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify when the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to prohibit the specification of a defined area, or deny or restrict the use of a defined area for specification, as a disposal site under section 404 of that Act, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Regulatory Certainty Act of 2018.
Permits for dredged or fill material
Section 404(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(c)) is amended—
by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:
Authorization To prohibit specification of defined area
In accordance with this subsection, the Administrator may—
prohibit the specification (including the withdrawal of specification) of any defined area as a disposal site; and
deny or restrict the use of any defined area for specification (including the withdrawal of specification) as a disposal site.
Determination by Administrator
Before carrying out any action under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall—
provide notice and an opportunity for a public hearing on the action; and
determine, in consultation with the Secretary, that the discharge of a material into a defined area will have an unacceptable adverse effect on—
a municipal water supply;
a shellfish bed or fishery area, including a spawning and breeding area;
a recreational area.
Publishing of findings
The Administrator shall make publicly available a written statement that provides the findings and reasons for making any determination under this subsection.
Time period of specification
The period during which the Administrator may undertake any action under paragraph (1) shall—
begin on the date that the Secretary provides notice to the Administrator that the Secretary has completed all procedures for processing an application for a permit under this section relating to the specification and is ready to determine, in accordance with the record and applicable regulations, whether the permit should be issued; and
end on the date that the Secretary issues the permit.
Length of time period
The period described in subparagraph (A) shall consist of not fewer than 30 consecutive days.
Permit issued by Secretary
The Secretary may issue a permit under this section only after the Secretary provides notice to the Administrator in accordance with this paragraph.
The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply to a permit application submitted under section 404(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(a)) after the date of enactment of this Act.