Press Releases

Press Releases

Wheeler Announces Proposed 401 Rule at NAM’s CMA Conference

“This Proposal Is a Win for Manufacturers”

Charleston, SC – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced an EPA proposal to clarify Section 401 of the Clean Water Act at the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations’ Summer Leadership Conference in Charleston, South Carolina:

“The EPA’s efforts to modernize regulations and deliver regulatory certainty have contributed to strong manufacturing growth in recent years. This proposal is a win for manufacturers that would build on that success by offering much-needed clarity to states and manufacturers alike. Too often, the vaguely worded Section 401 has been used as an excuse to block critical infrastructure and trade projects. By setting clear guidelines, the EPA is empowering manufacturers to invest in our people and communities with confidence and to work with state leaders to protect our water and environment.

“We are grateful that Administrator Wheeler chose to announce this landmark proposal at the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations’ Summer Leadership Conference. It demonstrates that by working together, government and business leaders can ensure economic growth and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand.”

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act gives states an important role to play in ensuring water quality standards are not impaired by federally permitted projects. This proposal will give state and federal partners more clearly defined roles, responsibilities and consistent expectations in line with the statute and recent court decisions. The proposed rule seeks to protect waters by strengthening the Section 401 process.


The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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