An Arizona congressman was joined by more than 100 House members in introducing a bill that would prevent EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from "developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing" the proposed rule defining "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act.
Echoing a theme that has been sounded repeatedly by farmers and other water users opposed to the EPA/Corps rulemaking, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said the agencies are trying "to obtain control over practically all standing water throughout the U.S. by unilaterally expanding the Clean Water Act."
Said Gosar: “The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act rejects this overreach and requires relevant federal agencies to go back to the drawing board and consult with states and other local officials to formulate a proposal that will then be submitted to Congress for approval. Only Congress has the authority to change or redefine the scope of the CWA, not bureaucrats in Washington. This fact has been confirmed several times by the Supreme Court. Americans can't afford more economic hurdles and thievery of precious water supplies from an unaccountable federal government operating in hyper mode.”
Gosar said the bill has 114 co-sponsors, which is a few more than are listed at Congress.gov, probably because of a time lag.
The congressman touted the bill as bipartisan. Congress.gov listed two Democrats among the co-sponsors: Rep. Brad Ashford of Nebraska and Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota. Ashford is newly elected, while Peterson has served in Congress since 1990 and supported a similar effort in the previous Congress.
Text of the bill follows: