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S. 3277 (117th): Section 401 Certification Act

The text of the bill below is as of Nov 30, 2021 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.



1st Session

S. 3277


November 30, 2021

(for herself, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Cramer, Ms. Lummis, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Sullivan, Ms. Ernst, and Mr. Graham) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works


To enact the Section 401 Certification Rule, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Section 401 Certification Act.



Congress finds that—


section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1341) is designed to provide States and authorized Indian Tribes an important tool to help protect the water quality of federally regulated waters within their borders, in collaboration with Federal agencies through the cooperative federalism framework of that Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.);


in the years preceding the date of enactment of this Act, States have denied water quality certifications under section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1341) for infrastructure projects for reasons other than protecting water quality, such as downstream greenhouse gas emissions;


natural gas pipelines, coal production, and electric transmissions lines are vital to ensuring that the people of the United States have affordable access to energy;


in October 2021, the Energy Information Administration projected that nearly half of households in the United States that heat primarily with natural gas will spend, on average, 30 percent more to heat those households as compared to the previous winter;


fuel scarcity and a lack of sufficient infrastructure to transport natural gas contribute to higher energy prices; and


other infrastructure projects, such as road construction to support interstate commerce, are in the national interest and warrant regulatory certainty under section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1341).


Enactment of the Section 401 Certification Rule

The final rule of the Environmental Protection Agency entitled Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule (85 Fed. Reg. 42210 (July 13, 2020)) is enacted into law.