WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo Counties) sent a letter yesterday signed by ten other members of the Bay Area delegation to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, expressing concern about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ upcoming decision as to whether the Redwood City Salt Plant site falls under the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act. Speier warned the Army Corps that it should not adopt a novel, unilateral re-interpretation of the Clean Water Act that would be inconsistent with its past rulings and might limit the EPA’s ability to regulate similar post-industrial sites nationwide.

The Army Corps of Engineers is considering whether the Redwood City Salt Plant site falls under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act. Previous Corps of Engineers determinations from 2010 and 2008 found that the Redwood City Salt Plant salt ponds are Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act. Overturning this precedent could have broad consequences for federal protection of waters nationwide.

“One agency should not unilaterally issue a ruling that guts the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction,” said Speier. “We strongly urge the Corps to review their own precedents, provide due process, and fully consult with the EPA, Congress, and other stakeholders before they decide that certain sites are not worthy of protection.”

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