Contact: Gibbs - Dallas Gerber, Shuster - Casey Contres

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH-7), Chairman of Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-9) urged House leadership on Monday to include a provision that stops the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule for Fiscal Year 2016.  The letter was co-signed by a bipartisan group of eighty-eight members of Congress.

The letter to leadership is the latest effort by Gibbs and Shuster to rein in the EPA’s power grab that expands their jurisdiction beyond Congressional intent.  Earlier this year, the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, that would require the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to restart the rulemaking process and treat their state counterparts as partners in protecting water quality.  The letter also notes “nearly 90 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits regarding the legality of the rule.” Over 30 state governments, farm advocacy organizations and business leaders comprise those plaintiffs.  These lawsuits have resulted in two separate federal courts issuing stays that will halt implementation, one of which stops the rule nationwide.

After sending the letter, Congressman Gibbs made the following statement:

“I want to thank my colleagues who signed on to support this important issue.  The EPA’s actions on WOTUS will have a negative impact on the agriculture industry, will make it more difficult for small businesses to comply with burdensome regulations, and could ultimately reverse the great strides our nation has taken in water quality.  Republicans and Democrats agree that the cost and expansion of jurisdiction in the WOTUS rule will cause confusion and unnecessary burden on our economy.  I strongly urge House leadership to include a backstop limitation of funds provision that prevents the EPA and Army Corps from moving forward with this rule.”

Chairman Shuster also commented on the letter:

“WOTUS continues to be a flawed rule rejected at the congressional, state, and local levels.  Don’t just take our word for it.  At least 30 states, including Pennsylvania, are objecting to the rule as proposed, as well as nearly 70 percent of the substantive one million comments filed and nearly 370 individual counties.  Yet the Administration continues to ignore the will of the American people and disregard their concerns, so we will continue to take every step necessary to stop this federal power grab.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.