Congressman Gibbs: EPA Ignores 170 Members of Congress

April 27, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s release of a so-called “guidance document” which effectively circumvents the proper regulatory process to increase the extent of waters subject to the Clean Water Act.

“Last week, I led a bipartisan group of 170 Members of Congress and wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.  We expressed deep concerns about the agencies attempts to circumvent the proper regulatory process in order to push through a dramatic expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

“But after our letter exposed the Obama Administration’s attempt to sidestep transparency, I am extremely disappointed to learn that almost half of the House of the Representatives’ request that they reconsider this so-called ‘guidance document’ was totally ignored.

“Instead, the Administration scrambled to repackage the leaked document as an open and transparent product by adding a 60 day comment period to the draft guidance.  It is clear that they have already decided how they will implement their radical agenda, and yet they are pretending this document is still under construction.

“However, the EPA fails to mention that the bureaucrats in DC are not obligated to take any of the submitted comments into account as they write the ‘final guidance.’  Nor does the EPA actually commit to allowing a truly transparent and open consideration of this overreach to ever take place, vaguely mentioning that they ‘expect’ to undertake a rulemaking.

“As Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee with jurisdiction over this issue, I am in the process of scheduling oversight hearings of the on the EPA's practice of circumventing the regulatory process by imposing costly, burdensome de facto rules disguised as mere advisory guidelines so that this blatant disregard for Congressional intent will be put to an end.”