The Right leaners on the High court seem to have gone out on a limb to throw away state’s and tribes ability to adjust or veto Environmental rules from Washington, a process that HAS been going on for a half of a century without looking back ….
Justice Roberts voted with the minority…..
For nearly 50 years, states and tribes have done just that, imposing additional requirements on these projects or vetoing them altogether. They may place limitations on discharge into the water, and “on the activity as a whole,” to protect their environments from pollution. This power has allowed states and tribes to uphold their own water quality standards—even when the federal government is eager to approve an energy company’s latest dangerous venture. The states often deny certification because the company refused to provide key information about the negative environmental impact on rivers, streams, and wetlands. Dissatisfied companies can contest a state or tribe’s decision in state or federal court, as well as administrative tribunals.
Predictably, energy companies dislike local authorities’ latitude over their projects, as do many red states. In 2020, Trump’s EPA responded to these objections by drastically cutting back state and tribes’ authority to modify or deny certifications. The agency’s unprecedented rule limited these governments’ review of potential pollution as well as their ability to incorporate new conditions into the permit. It also slashed the amount of information companies must turn over, leaving states and tribes in the dark about the dangerous environmental impact of new projects. The rule caused substantial disarray in a number of states, including Washington, whose aquaculture industry nearly collapsed.
A coalition of 20 states, three tribes, and six conservation organizations sued to block the rule, while eight red states and three industry trade groups intervened to defend it. In 2021, Joe Biden’s EPA announced that it would “reconsider and revise” the rule. A district court set aside the rule in October, finding evidence that it would impose “significant environmental harm.” (That decision is pending in the court of appeals.) After dragging its feet for nearly five months, the group of red states and trade groups belatedly asked SCOTUS to put the district court’s decision on hold, before the court of appeals could even issue a ruling….