States file suit in Lake Charles court over EPA’s expansion of pipeline veto powers


A group of 11 Republican-led states and energy industry groups have challenged a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that bolsters state and tribal veto power over pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, Reuters reports.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Lake Charles on Monday, Louisiana, West Virginia, Wyoming and others argued the EPA’s September rule revising the Clean Water Act’s permitting process to let states and Native American tribes block projects over a wider range of expected impacts to water resources exceeded the agency’s authority under the law and asked the court to vacate it.

The plaintiffs, which included the American Petroleum Institute, warned the rule will increase the workload of state agencies reviewing projects and would thwart efforts to develop critical energy infrastructure like natural gas export terminals, carbon capture projects and pipelines.

The rule, which went into effect last month, made changes to the Clean Water Act Section 401 certification process by expanding the ability of states and Native American tribes to block projects within their borders over concerns about their broad impact on water resources. It reversed a 2020 decision by the Trump administration. Read more.