Owens Spearheads Water Quality Bill

WASHINGTON – Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) introduced the Water Quality Criteria Development and Transparency Act, legislation to establish more transparent procedures for the development of water quality criteria by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) often used for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, which would provide for additional public participation and limited judicial review. 

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water quality criteria development for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits lacks transparency and often ignores stakeholder input,” said Rep. Owens. “The Water Quality Criteria Development and Transparency Act tackles that issue by ensuring that outside comments are not just heard but legitimately considered, fostering a collaborative approach to water quality management. Employers in Utah’s Fourth District and across the nation deserve a say and a seat at the decision-making table. I’m proud to be a champion for this commonsense, transformative step towards a cleaner and more participatory future for our water resources.”

The EPA develops recommended water quality criteria under CWA Section 304(a), which are used by many states in carrying out their NPDES permitting responsibilities.  Given the importance of water quality criteria development, this bill ensures that outside comments are legitimately considered in the development of these guidelines, and that Section 304(a) water quality criteria are subject to Administrative Procedures Act notice and comment rulemaking requirements and limited judicial review, ensuring regulated entities have a seat at the table and water quality is protected.

The full legislative text is available here.

Recent Posts

Jun 14, 2024

Owens Leads Effort to Modernize Higher Education

WASHINGTON — Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Burgess Owens (UT-04) introduced the Ensuring Distance Education Act to modernize the Higher Education Act, reflect the evolving landscape of higher education, and better serve America’s students. The 90/10 rule stipulates that career-education colleges and universities can receive only 90% of their revenue from federal aid, […]

Jun 13, 2024

Owens Honors Utah Sgt. Bill Hooser

WASHINGTON — Congressman Burgess Owens (UT-04) introduced legislation to rename the Santaquin Post Office in honor of Sergeant Bill Dean Hooser of the Santaquin City Police Department, who was killed in the line of duty on May 5, 2024.  “Sgt. Bill Hooser served Utah with courage and dedication, making the ultimate sacrifice in the line […]