HEALTH AND SAFETY
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY — HEALTH
39-175A. Legislative findings and purposes. (1) The legislature finds:
(a) That navigable waters within the state are one of the state’s most valuable natural resources;
(b) That it is in the public interest to promote effective and efficient regulation of the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters, and that the state should control such permitting decisions as authorized under the federal clean water act;
(c) That the clean water act allows a state to develop and implement, with approval from the United States environmental protection agency, a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) program to be administered by the state;
(d) That the clean water act, as amended, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, establishes complex and detailed provisions for regulation of those who discharge pollutants into navigable waters;
(e) That a state program to implement permitting decisions as authorized in the clean water act, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, may enable the state to issue flexible permits consistent with the clean water act and avoid the existence of duplicative, overlapping or conflicting state and federal regulatory and enforcement processes;
(f) That a state program must be run with a minimum of federal interference in permitting, inspection and enforcement activities and that all state permitting actions under the approved state program are to be state actions and are not subject to consultation under the endangered species act or analysis under the provisions of the national environmental policy act. There should be no conditions of approval of the state program that have the effect of undermining or circumventing these principles;
(g) That the decision to accept delegation of authority from the environmental protection agency to operate an NPDES program has significant public policy implications that should be made by the legislature.
(2) Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to establish requirements that must be satisfied prior to legislative approval of a permitting program that complies with the clean water act and incorporates flexible permitting procedures and rules to be promulgated by the board.
[39-175A, added 2005, ch. 57, sec. 1, p. 211; am. 2014, ch. 40, sec. 3, p. 96.]