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  • Question

    Are State and local laws, to include state environmental law and permits, applicable to federal construction contracts on federal land? Do state and local laws, including state environmental laws, have the authority to stop or delay federal construction contracts until the state local permits have been obtained and paid for? 52.236-7 Permits and Responsibilities apparently states that federal construction contracts are subject to basically all state and local laws, codes, etc etc. However it also includes the term (applicable) as well as (necessary) licenses and permits. Who is the authority on what is (applicable) and (necessary) and what is not (applicable) and (necessary) ? What if the construction site is located on federal and not state land? What about Sovereign Immunity?


    Answer

    The Indiana law “Rule 5” requires erosion control practices on construction projects. The law was developed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to meet the Federal Environmental Protection Agency Requirements. 327 IAC 15-5 incorporates the requirements of the Clean Water Act. The EPA works with its federal, state, and tribal regulatory partners through the Clean Water Act Compliance and monitoring program. The EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/compliance/compliance-monitoring-programs and provides detailed expert assistance on the requirements of the EPA as they relate to the various states. While the FAR and DFARS do require the clause, it stands quiet as to what is applicable and necessary. The details of the relationship between the federal EPA and the state regulatory requirements may differ from state to state. State specific assistance is available at http://www.envcap.org/statetools/



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