Gibbs, House Vote to Stop EPA WOTUS Rule
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives voted today to stop a regulation written by the Obama Administration that would grant the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) new federal jurisdiction over waters and wetlands already regulated at the state level. The “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule only expands the current federal authority by extending its reach beyond what are traditionally considered “navigable waters.” Under the final rule, the EPA will now have jurisdiction over roadside ditches, grass waterways on farms and ephemeral streams, a clear expansion from current law.
S.J. Res 22, a resolution of congressional disapproval of the expansion of federal powers under the Clean Water Act, stops the WOTUS rule in its tracks. This protects farmers, ranchers, homebuilders and others from onerous federal regulation and burdensome red tape that several federal courts have temporarily halted while litigation continues.
After today’s bipartisan vote Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement:
“During last night’s State of the Union the President talked about the need to cut bureaucratic red tape. If he is serious about that then he should sign this resolution. Since this rule was initially proposed in 2014, I have heard from farmers, homebuilders, county and township officials, and state environmental officials that are opposed to this rule. The Clean Water Act is intended to strengthen the federal-state partnership, not treat the states as adversaries. Access to and preservation of clean water is important to everyone, including and especially the agriculture community. Making the permitting process more burdensome and more expensive risks the improvements in water quality we have made since 1972. Not only is this a misguided and poorly written rule, the EPA also broke the law in promoting it. By stacking the deck in the public comment process and using what the Government Accountability Office calls ‘covert propaganda,’ they further undermine their credibility on this issue.”
Congressman Gibbs has been leading the efforts to prevent the WOTUS rule, including the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, multiple subcommittee hearings, and a demand for an investigation into allegations that the EPA broke the law in promoting their WOTUS rule.
S.J. Res 22 now heads to President Obama’s desk for signature.