Rep. Gosar Slams EPA Lawlessness Uncovered in House Oversight Report on WOTUS Regulation

Oct 27, 2016 Issues: Government Oversight and Regulatory Reform, Energy, Public Lands and Water

For Immediate Release

Date: October 27, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform published a report detailing findings from its two-year investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule making process:

“Today’s House Oversight report pulls back the curtain on the unparalleled level of lawlessness and corruption that has defined the EPA under President Obama. The administration’s immoral obsession to achieve a limitless federal water grab outweighed the need to consider the law, science or the concerns of the American people. This unparalleled overreach is highlighted by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy personally and intentionally violating the law by striking the need to offer alternative regulatory options and unilaterally re-writing the final rule. The EPA has solidified itself as a rogue wing of Obama’s far-left army of environmental extremists and I will continue to call for immediate impeachment hearings for Administrator McCarthy.”

Background:

(Courtesy of the House Oversight Committee)
The Clean Water Act (CWA) passed in 1972 gave the federal government limited jurisdiction over certain navigable waters. On May 27, 2015, the administration announced an agency rule to clarify CWA, which significantly increased the federal government’s jurisdiction.

During the 114th Congress, the Oversight Committee held multiple hearings in 2015 (February 26, March 3) and 2016 (January 7, March 15, April 19, June 21) related to the WOTUS rule.

Key findings from the report include:

·The agencies pushed the rule through on an accelerated timeline that appeared to have been motivated by political considerations.  Some officials involved in the process believed politics deprived them the opportunity to conduct a meaningful and full review of the rule before its promulgation.

·The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), which shares jurisdiction over CWA, was cut out of the rule development process.

·The EPA made no effort to ensure the rule was based on sound science. The EPA did not conduct additional research (which the Corps believed was necessary) to justify the rule’s conclusions.

·The agencies did not consider alternatives to the rule, and even went so far as to gut the discussion of alternatives after the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)stated such discussion was necessary.

·The agencies went to unusual and unprecedented lengths to avoid compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.

·Public comments were not fully reviewed and considered before agencies drafted the final rule.

Additional Background

(Courtesy of Congressman Gosar)
On January 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.R. 594, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. This legislation has the support of 185 bipartisan cosponsors. Click HERE to read more about the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. 

On May 12, 2015, the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, by a vote of 261-155. This critical legislation requires the EPA and Corps of Engineers to formally withdraw the agencies’ proposed rule that would redefine WOTUS and any subsequent final rule. Congressman Gosar joined the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Bill Shuster in introducing this bill. Click HERE to read more. 

On August 27, 2015, Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota blocked WOTUS as a result of a lawsuit filed by 13 states, including the state of Arizona.

On September 11, 2015, introduced H.RES.417 with 20 other members of Congress, which begins the impeachment process for Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after she committed perjury and made several false statements at multiple congressional hearings, and as a result, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Click HERE to read more.

Congressman Gosar has also inserted funding riders into appropriations bills, blocked a democrat amendment that tried to strip one of his WOTUS riders and voted at least five different times for legislation that has passed the House to block WOTUS.  In July 2015, he berated EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and submitted revelatory evidence into the Congressional Record from senior Army Corps of Engineer employees which expressed serious legal and scientific deficiencies with the final draft of the WOTUS rule. 

More than 200 organizations and local municipalities have publicly declared their opposition to the proposed WOTUS rule.

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