Rider could block EPA water grab

The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2016 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, on Wednesday which included Arizona Congressman Gosar’s language request prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from using any appropriated funds for the proposed “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” rule.

On January 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.R. 594, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. This bill prohibits the EPA and U.S. Corps of Engineering from “developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing” the proposed rule and any successor document, or any substantially similar proposed rule or guidance.

On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers released a proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over nearly all areas with even the slightest of connections to water resources, including man-made conveyances.

According to a recent report by economist and University of California-Berkley faculty member Dr. David Sundling, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Water Act rule is rife with errors and lacks transparency. Dr. Sundling concluded that the miscalculations in the EPA’s analysis are so extensive that it should be rendered useless for determining the true costs of this proposed rule. His report underscores the need for EPA to withdraw the rule and complete a comprehensive and transparent economic review that complies with federal law.

“I am very pleased to see my House colleagues on the Appropriations Committee accommodate my request, supported by 103 bipartisan members of Congress, to block all funding for the EPA’s proposed water grab. The House must utilize the power of the purse to stop the EPA from imposing devastating economic consequences for farmers, ranchers and small businesses throughout the country,” said Gosar in a statement released after the approval.

“Returning to regular order while using an open appropriations process is the key to reining in out-of-control federal spending as well as an overreaching executive branch. This critical aspect of our Constitutional checks and balances ensures that the will of the people is carried out and stops unelected bureaucrats from taking the law into their own hands,” concluded Gosar.

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