Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement after North Dakota District Court Judge Ralph Erickson issued a preliminary injunction to halt the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule from being implemented in 13 states. It would affect Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
Lucas: Once Again Obama's EPA Seeks to Expand Regulatory Reach Without Authority
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas issued the following statement regarding the release of the "Clean Water Protection Guidance" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers.
"The Obama administration’s decision to move forward with a new guidance on the Clean Water Act will undeniably expand the regulatory scope and federal jurisdiction over waterways. This guidance builds a foundation for the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to regulate essentially any body of water, such as a farm pond or even a ditch. The vitality and health of our nation's waterways are important to all of us. Where we disagree is over how to achieve that goal.
"Last week, I joined 169 of my colleagues in sending a letter to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers expressing our concern with moving forward with a new guidance. While the agencies may claim that the guidance is legally nonbinding, the truth is the administration has defined regulatory terms that will ultimately lead to over-regulation and intrusion into individual and states' rights.
"Once again the EPA is trying to broaden its jurisdiction without authority to do so. Changes to the regulatory scheme of the Clean Water Act should be done through notice and rule-making or legislative action. Issuing a guidance document is informal and ambiguous. If this is important to the administration, I urge it to reconsider this approach and move forward with a transparent rule-making process,” said Chairman Frank Lucas.