170 Members of Congress, including Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and Committee Member Tim Holden (D-PA), as well as Chairman Mica and Ranking Member Rahall of the Full Committee, wrote this letter to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to express their deep concerns that the agencies are attempting to circumvent the proper regulatory process in order to push through a dramatic expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.
The agencies are pushing through “guidance” that will reverse decisions by the United States Supreme Court recognizing limits to the federal government’s regulatory authority. This "guidance" will undermine the long-standing federal-state partnership in the regulation of waters, and the expansion of federal jurisdiction will result in confusion, permitting delays, and added costs and burdens for communities, farmers, small businesses, industries and other Americans.
In previous Congresses, legislative proposals to expand federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act met with stiff bipartisan resistance. Now the Obama Administration is attempting to achieve the same objective, but by unilaterally developing this so-called “guidance” instead of following the proper, transparent rulemaking process.
The bipartisan letter states, "By developing this 'Guidance,' the Agencies have ignored calls from state agencies and environmental groups, among others, to proceed through the normal rulemaking procedures, and have avoided consulting with the States, which are the Agencies’ partners in implementing the Clean Water Act."
Link to Press Release