231 House Members Oppose Water Jurisdiction Proposal
May 2 (BNA) - House lawmakers signed a May 1 letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy objecting to the proposed Clean Water Act rule that would clarify jurisdiction over the nation's waters and wetlands.
Spearheaded by Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), the letter signed by 231 lawmakers—212 Republicans and 19 Democrats—asked the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the rule to address the “serious legal, economic, and scientific deficiencies of the proposal.” The lawmakers said the proposed rule was built on an incomplete scientific study and flawed economic analysis.
In particular, they noted the agency and the corps cited dredge-and-fill permit data from fiscal year 2009-2010, “a period of time that was the most economically depressed in nearly a century.”
The EPA and the corps jointly proposed the rule, published April 21, that would bring under federal jurisdiction all tributaries of streams, lakes, ponds and impoundments, as well as wetlands that affect the chemical, physical and biological integrity of larger, navigable downstream waters. The agencies are accepting comment on the proposed rule until July 21.