Legislation has been introduced in the House to stop attempts by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to expand federal power under the Clean Water Act and extend the government’s regulatory reach to every ditch, puddle and pond in the country. The bill – H.R. 4965 – was introduced by leaders of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Agriculture Committee. It would prohibit the Obama Administration from finalizing or implementing the EPA and Corps Clean Water Act guidance to broaden the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Act.
Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas says the new authorities granted in this guidance would mean farm ponds, stock tanks and seasonal runoff ditches could conceivably be included under new regulations. He says the economic impact on farmers, ranchers and rural communities would be devastating. Lucas says the President and his EPA must stop the pattern of over-regulation and intrusion into individual and state rights.
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair John Mica says the Administration is doing everything it can to increase costs and regulatory burdens for American businesses, farmers and individual property owners. He notes this federal jurisdiction grab has been opposed by Congress for years – and says the Obama Administration and its agencies are ignoring law and rulemaking procedures in order to tighten the regulatory grip over every water body in the nation. According to Mica – the Administration needs to realize it’s not above the law.