Congressman Gibbs Statement from Bicameral Hearing on Administration’s proposed, ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule

February 4, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Gibbs released the following statement after a joint hearing with the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the Impacts of the Proposed Waters of the United States Rule on State and Local Governments.

Today, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to question EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy of the Army Corps of Engineers (Civil Works) regarding the Administration’s proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The comments from the witnesses in the hearing reinforced what my committee has been working to bring clarity on – that this rule will go beyond the intended scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The rule operates on the assumption that states and local governments are incapable of adequately and safely protecting their waters. In its current form, this rule will strip states of their power to regulate water through the expansion of costly new jurisdictional waters and erode private property rights.

“The proposed rule is a clear-cut expansion of EPA’s jurisdiction and a federal power grab. Farmers, manufacturers, home owners and small businesses will face increased burdensome permitting requirements and costly regulations as federal control under this rule increases. This rule threatens jobs, hurts the American middle class, and affects every group that participates in any commerce-related activity.

“At the end of the day, we all want to protect the environment and maintain clean water. This proposed rule does not accomplish that goal.  Rather than going forward with this rule, and eroding the federal-state partnership, Congress should work together to create commonsense regulations where states, businesses and landowners can collaborate instead of a one-size fits all policy.”