Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after submitting an official appropriations language request to the House Appropriations Committee, that if enacted would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from using any appropriated funds for the “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” rule:
“Despite not having the science to back up their claims or the Constitutional right to take action, the EPA and the USACE are still planning to move forward with their blatant federal overreach, amounting to nothing more than a massive water-grab. In fact, this past Monday EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced they ‘are getting ready to send the final draft of the Waters of the U.S. rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for interagency review.”
The proposed Waters of the U.S. rule would hand over federal jurisdiction of nearly all areas with any hydrologic connection to downstream waters including man-made constructions such as ditches, pipes and farmland ponds. Contrary to claims made by the EPA and the USACE, this would directly contradict prior U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which imposed limits on the extent of federal CWA authority.
“Congress must act now to stop the EPA from imposing devastating economic consequences for farmers, ranchers and small businesses throughout the country. Passing H.R. 594 and/or including this funding rider are the only worthwhile efforts to date that will prevent these rogue agencies from implementing the extremely flawed WOTUS rule.”
The funding rider request that was made by Rep. Gosar and 103 other members of Congress to Chairmen Calvert and Simpson and Ranking Members McCollum and Kaptur of the House Appropriations Committee, can be found HERE. This language is also contained in H.R. 594.
On January 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.R. 594, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, which can be found HERE. This bill prohibits the EPA and U.S. Corps of Engineering from “developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing” the proposed rule and any successor document, or any substantially similar proposed rule or guidance.
On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers released a proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over nearly all areas with even the slightest of connections to water resources, including man-made conveyances.
According to a recent report by economist and University of California-Berkley faculty member Dr. David Sundling, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Water Act rule is rife with errors and lacks transparency. Dr. Sundling concluded that the miscalculations in the EPA’s analysis are so extensive that it should be rendered useless for determining the true costs of this proposed rule. His report underscores the need for EPA to withdraw the rule and complete a comprehensive and transparent economic review that complies with federal law.