Today, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), introduced the bipartisan Regulatory Fairness Act, which would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from preemptively or retroactively vetoing a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“It is un-American for the federal government to predetermine the fate of a business project. The Regulatory Fairness Act simply protects American businesses from a politicized regulatory process,” said Vitter. “EPA has clearly taken liberties with its authority during the permitting process for important job creating projects, and I am very concerned the trend will continue. Reintroducing this legislation is crucial to protecting the rights of American businesses and preventing a disincentive to investing in America.”
Vitter and Manchin first introduced this legislation in 2014. The Regulatory Fairness Act would prevent the EPA from preemptively vetoing Clean Water Act (CWA) permits in the case of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Last year, the EPA attempted to predetermine the fate of mining locations before proponents had properly gone through the permitting process. EPA has also engaged in retroactively vetoing permits after they were properly issued.
Cosponsors of the bill include Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and David Perdue (R-Ga.).