On Monday, the EPA submitted a comment to the State Department's draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of the pipeline's route, noting it included "insufficient information" and "does not provide a detailed analysis" of alternative routes.
"EPA's comments yesterday on the State Department's draft EIS are the perfect example of government run amok," said a statement from Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), who in March introduced a bill that would force the State Department, which is reviewing the pipeline proposal, to approve the project.
"It's unfortunate we have to legislate to keep government agencies from going rogue,” he added.
Republicans warned that the EPA's letter, combined with a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday that upheld the agency's authority to veto a mountaintop removal coal mine permit in 2011, portend future interference from the environmental agency.
The EPA's comment was one of many received by the State Department as it sought public input on a review of the pipeline's route, which stretches from Canada to Texas. The draft review's comment period closed on Monday.
The State Department will now review comments before it moves to finalize the report and determine whether the pipeline is in the national interest. That determination, expected to be issued in September, will likely signal whether the Obama administration plans to issue a permit for the TransCanada Corporation to construct the pipeline.