The EPA has only used its Section 404(c) “veto” authority 13 times; twice in the 21st century. The power was exercised most frequently during the Reagan administration. Here are some highlights of proposals regulators blocked:
Jan. 19, 1981: The city of North Miami proposed a public recreation site with golf courses, tennis courts and a clubhouse next to Biscayne Bay. After filing the original permit application, the city modified the proposal so that garbage would be used as a fill.
June 15, 1984: The EPA’s concerns about a plan to fill 25 acres of wetlands in Mobile, Ala., for a proposed waste recycling storage facility compelled Administrator William D. Ruckelshaus to exercise his veto authority after the Army Corps of Engineers said it intended to grant the permit.
March 21, 1988: The agency denied a developer’s petition to build a shopping mall over an Attleboro, Mass., swamp after finding that it did not adequately consider less environmentally intrusive alternatives.
Aug. 31, 2008: The EPA under the George W. Bush administration found that a proposed Army Corps pumping project to mitigate flooding concerns in Mississippi would “dramatically alter” the hydrology of the Yazoo Backwater Area, which contains more than 150,000 acres of wetlands.
Jan. 13, 2011: For the first time, the EPA exercised its veto authority retroactively, revoking a permit for a West Virginia mountaintop mining project. Environmentalists and local residents feared that the mining technique, which involves blasting through mountain terrain to access underground coal seams, would pose a pollution hazard to Appalachian waterways. A district court set aside the EPA determination in March 2012, though an appeals court upheld the agency action in April 2013.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.