GOP senators introduce bill to block 'Waters of the U.S.' rule

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 - Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas and 29 other Republican senators today introduced legislation meant to prevent the EPA from implementing its proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule.

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The senators say the rule would allow EPA to “take over all private and state waters in the United States” by expanding federal authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

“After already calling on the EPA and Army Corps (of Engineers) to withdraw the proposed rule, I want to make sure that the expansion of regulatory jurisdiction over ‘Waters of the United States' is shelved for good,” Roberts said in a statement. “This straightforward legislation prohibits the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary of the Army from finalizing the rule or trying a similar regulation in the future.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) officially endorsed the legislation, the “Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014,” in its own statement addressed to Roberts.

“As a constitutional matter, the agencies are asserting an authority not granted them by Congress,” AFBF said of EPA's proposed rule. “As a practical matter, it will mean increased enforcement against farmers, greater expenses for permitting, potential delays in managing their operations, and the unquestioned exposure of legal liability attendant with lawsuits from activists.”

The legislation introduced by the Republican senators “seeks to prevent such an outcome and deserves strong, bipartisan support,” AFBF concluded.

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