Congressman, NY Farm Bureau chief fight proposed expansion of Clean Water Act
U. S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence., announced Tuesday he and more than 160 fellow Congress members are fighting to stop expansion of the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act.
Collins stated he is trying to block the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from expanding federal control under the Clean Water Act. The EPA and USACE are seeking a rule change to give the federal government more authority by expanding what Collins stated in the release as “the already overly broad definition of ‘navigable waters’ in the Clean Water Act.”
Collins talked about this effort at a stop at Stein Farms in LeRoy,Genesee County, on Tuesday, where he was joined by members of the Stein family and Dean Norton, president of the New York State Farm Bureau.
Collins said his objection to the proposal is because it “would redefine the scope of federal power under the CWA, giving the CWA jurisdiction over almost all physical areas with a connection to downstream navigable waters. This would put features such as ditches, natural or man-made ponds, flood plains, and prairie potholes, among others, under federal control.”
Norton agreed with the assertion, stating in the release: “New York farmers take the care of our natural resources very seriously, but in this case, the EPA is taking over-regulation to the extreme. It defies common sense for the federal government to look to regulate every ditch and rain puddle. The cost to our farms, municipalities and to the taxpayers will be enormous. New York Farm Bureau stands with Congressman Collins to oppose the overreach of the EPA as it looks to stretch the Clean Water Act.”