The Obama Administration and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are pushing a dramatic expansion of federal jurisdiction over waters and wet areas in the United States. This massive federal jurisdiction grab was the subject of failed legislation in the 110th and 111th Congresses. Strong bipartisan opposition prevented this costly and intrusive legislation from moving through the House and Senate.
Broadening the scope of the Clean Water Act and the federal government's reach into our everyday lives would adversely affect the nation’s economy, threaten jobs, invite costly litigation, and expand the federal government’s authority over state, local and private property rights.
Although such an expansion of federal authority has failed to gain traction in the Congress, the Administration is pushing its expansionist agenda by attempting to circumvent continued Congressional opposition and the regular federal regulatory process. On June 7, 2012, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved bipartisan legislation introduced by Full Committee Chairman John L. Mica, Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs and other Members of Congress to halt EPA's attempts to illegally expand federal power under the Clean Water Act and potentially extend the government’s regulatory reach to every ditch, puddle and pond in the country.
Regulation of the nation's waters must be done in a manner that responsibly protects the environment without an unnecessary and costly expansion of the federal government. Preventing an unreasonable and burdensome regulatory agenda will ensure that taxes for small businesses, farmers and families do not needlessly increase, and will protect employers’ ability to create new jobs.