Like most federal environmental programs, NPDES program authority is largely delegated to the states. Only four states aren’t delegated: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. How is it that progressive Massachusetts, always confident that it can do environmental regulation better than anyone else, never obtained delegated authority?
Like Tevye, I’ll tell you. I don’t know.
I do know that it’s good news that Governor Baker just submitted legislation necessary for Massachusetts to assume NPDES delegation. It’s about bloody time. I hope my friends in the environmental community – you know who you are – don’t oppose delegation on the assumption that this is a nefarious Republican plot to turn back the clock on environmental regulation. There is no procedure for assuming delegation authority when the Republicans are in charge in Washington and the Democrats are in charge in Massachusetts, but handing it back to EPA when the situation is reversed.
Massachusetts knows how to do this and local control is better. End of story. Let’s get this done.