WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 13, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — This evening, Congressman Luke Messer voted for and the House passed the Regulatory Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1732). This bill stops the President’s unprecedented and controversial attempt to takeover of our nation’s waterways by doing the following:
First, it clarifies the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) scope of jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Second, it preserves the co-partnership between state and Federal regulators who work together to maintain the cleanliness of our nation’s waters.
“The President has tried, once again, to broaden his authority beyond the clear language of the law—this time by working through the EPA,” said Congressman Messer. “We all want clean water. But, under the guise of environmental protection, the President’s attempt to regulate ponds and streams on private lands would do nothing but add huge regulatory costs to our farmers, manufacturers, home builders, local governments, and the millions of American families who depend on them.”
The Clean Water Act (CWA) was established by Congress in 1972. Under this Act, the Federal government’s authority over waterways was limited to “navigable waters” like oceans, lakes and flowing rivers. Unfortunately, in April of last year, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule that would redefine “navigable waters” to include ditches, man-made ponds and seasonally-wet areas on private land—waterways that were never meant to be covered by the CWA.
According to the Indiana Farm Bureau, the EPAs new proposed rule would quadruple the number of stream miles under the Agency’s jurisdiction from 31,900 miles to 131,000. It would also nearly double the acres of land under government control from 1,399,000 to 2,178,000.
“This is an unprecedented land-grab attempt by the Federal government and it needs to be stopped,” said Congressman Messer. “From the beginning, the EPA should have worked with states, local governments, and stakeholders to develop regulations that maintain a balance between environmental protection and their real-world economic impact on hardworking Hoosiers. The bill I voted on today gives the Administration another chance to do that.”
H.R. 1732 now heads to the Senate for debate.