Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Friday released a statement following the announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a guidance to clarify requirements in Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

This action comes after President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order in April 2019 directing the EPA to work with agencies, states and tribal authorities to reduce confusion and uncertainty in the Section 401 certification process.

“Today’s guidance gives Arkansas the freedom we need to develop our energy infrastructure while preserving and protecting the natural beauty and water resources that draw millions of Americans to our state each year,” Rutledge said. “I commend the Administration for collaborating with states to allow for recommendations that best fit the needs of Arkansans.”

The proposed rulemaking replaces the 2010 interim guidance issued by EPA and will clarify and streamline Section 401 certifications of the CWA.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves as Chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region and re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture. As the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, she remains active on the Executive Board.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.