Section 401 of the Clean Water Act empowers states and tribes to assess the impacts of federal projects on rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands within their borders. Washington, D.C. — American Indian and Alaska Native federally recognized Tribes and environmental groups, represented by Earthjustice, sued the Trump administration over its attempt to weaken clean water protections. The rule changes proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency would force states and Tribes to accept damaging and unwanted pipelines and other fossil fuel projects on their lands. The EPA reverses its long-standing interpretation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act in a move that is contrary to the language, purpose, and intent of the statute. The lawsuit filed seeks to protect tribal and state water quality, and to prevent the EPA from allowing dangerous levels of pollution that would harm the health of families. This rule change is being adopted explicitly to support the fossil fuel industry. “In order to maintain the Suquamish Tribe’s values and traditions, we will take action to protect, maintain, and preserve our ancestral waters that have supported subsistence, cultural, and commercial uses since time immemorial. This rollback has a direct effect on our tribal community and […]

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