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Congressman Chris Collins

Representing the 27th District of New York

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Congressman Chirs Collins says EPA’s Proposed ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule Could Drown Small Business

May 29, 2014
Press Release

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) continues to lead the fight against excessive overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its proposed ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule.  Collins participated in a House Small Business Committee hearing today highlighting how the proposal could drown small businesses in new, costly and unnecessary regulation. 

“This is nothing more than a giant power grab by the EPA and it will have real and harmful consequences on America’s hardworking farmers and small business owners,” said Congressman Chris Collins.When the bureaucrats at the EPA decide to call a divot in the ground that fills with rain a ‘navigable waterway’ under the Clean Water Act, we know our federal government has run amuck.”

Earlier this month, more than half the membership of the House, from both parties, joined Collins in telling the EPA to back off its plan to expand federal control under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The EPA is seeking a rule change to give the federal government more authority by expanding the already overly broad definition of ‘navigable waters’ under the CWA.  This would put features such as ditches, natural or man-made ponds, flood plains, and prairie potholes, among others, under federal control.  The Members say the new rule would directly contradict prior U.S. Supreme Court decisions and is based on incomplete scientific and economic analyses.

Watch Collins' comments during today’s hearing HERE.

Materials from the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.

Notable Quotes: Tom Woods, Owner of Woods Custom Homes in Blue Springs, MO and testifying on behalf of National Association of Home Builders said, “This proposed rule will have a significant impact on small businesses nationwide, an important notion that the agencies choose to ignore. I am at a loss as to why the agencies refuse to give small businesses a seat at the table to discuss these impacts. I request that the agencies start over and develop a more meaningful and balanced rule that respects the spirit of the RFA.”

Jack Field, Owner of Lazy JF Cattle Co. in Yakima, WA, and testifying on behalf of the National Cattleman's Beef Association said, “As a producer and the head of a state association, I can tell you that after reading the proposed rule it has the potential to impact every aspect of my operation and others like it by dictating land use activities in Washington state from 2,687 miles away. I would also feel confident in saying that I believe it will actually have a detrimental impact on water quality."

Alan Parks, Vice President of Memphis Stone and Gravel Co. in Memphis, TN, and testifying on behalf of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association said, “The proposed rule has no clear line on what is ‘in’ and what is ‘out,’ making it very difficult for our industry and other businesses to plan new projects and make hiring decisions. If it is determined development of a site will take too long or cost too much in permitting or mitigation, we won’t move forward. That means a whole host of economic activity in a community will not occur--all of this in the name of protecting a ditch or farm pond.”