Shuster-Gosar Bill Rejecting EPA Water Grab Passes the House

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Washington, DC, May 12, 2015 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, by a vote of 261-155:
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For Immediate Release

Date: May 12, 2015

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, by a vote of 261-155:

“Today the House passed critical legislation and pushed back against the continued regulatory overreach of this administration by rejecting the WOTUS proposed rule.

“This terrible agency proposal would have disastrous effects and economic consequences for agriculture, small business and municipalities throughout the country. Trying to extort precious water resources and seize control over more of Arizona’s water is an infringement on state water rights and also undermines the federal-state partnership that has been incredibly successful to date. The EPA wanted this fight and today, the House hit back with bipartisan support.”

Background:

This critical legislation requires the EPA and Corps of Engineers to formally withdraw the agencies’ proposed rule that would redefine “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and dramatically expand agency jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Click HERE to read more about this legislation.

This blatant attempt by the Obama Administration to unilaterally expand their jurisdiction over more water through the WOTUS proposed rule violates previous Supreme Court rulings.

WOTUS is so vague and poorly drafted that it encompasses nearly all water sources with any connection to downstream navigable waters, including ditches, pipes, farmland ponds, groundwater as well as other waters traditionally regulated by the state. 

On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps 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.

On May 1, 2014, Congressman Gosar and 230 of his colleagues sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the EPA, and John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army, urging them to withdraw the proposed rule. The full text of that letter can be found HERE.

On June 2, 2014, Congressman Gosar hosted a joint field hearing on EPA’s proposed rule in Phoenix, Arizona that was attended by four of his Congressional colleagues and 9 Arizona witnesses. Stefanie Smallhouse, testifying on behalf of the of the Arizona Farm Bureau said, “The newly proposed EPA rule for the Waters of the U.S. would be devastating to my family’s farming operation, as well as hundreds of others in agriculture in Arizona…This proposed rule is an economic disaster, and a dream killer for my kids. There is no way a family farm such as ours would be able to withstand the hefty fines which would be enforced as a result of this rule.” More information about that joint field hearing can be found HERE.

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