On July 11, Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), joined by a bipartisan group of House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee members, introduced legislation prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing a rule that dramatically broadens the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
On April 21, EPA and the Corps released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would significantly broaden the definition of "waters of the United States" for protection under the CWA.
A broad swath of industry stakeholders representing agriculture, construction, housing, manufacturing, and energy sectors are concerned the proposal would allow more federal intervention in local land use decisions, increase the regulatory burden on businesses, raise the cost of development without a proven benefit to the environment, and give EPA unprecedented jurisdiction over private property.
The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078) will prevent the EPA and the Corps form moving forward on this rulemaking, which has attracted the ire of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including the leading Democrat on the House T&I Committee, Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WV).
The T&I Committee is scheduled to consider H.R. 5078 on July 16.