House Moves to Block EPA's Expanded Water Authority: What's Your Take?

pondThe environmental newswire has lit up over the past few days in response to the House's decision to block the Obama administration from implementing a rule that would clarify which bodies of water are protected under the Clean Water Act. Below is an excerpt from an article that appeared in The Daily Record.

WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday approved a bill to block the Obama administration from implementing a rule that asserts regulatory authority over many of the nation’s streams and wetlands — an action that critics call a classic Washington overreach.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule that it says will clarify which streams and waterways are shielded from development under the Clean Water Act, an issue that remains in dispute even after two U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Agriculture groups and farm-state politicians call the proposed rule a power grab that would allow the government to dictate what farmers can do on their own land. They said the rule is an example of governmental interference by bureaucrats who don’t know as much as farmers and ranchers do about how to be good stewards of their land.

The EPA proposal would have “devastating consequences on every major aspect of the economy,” from farming to manufacturing and road-building, Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., said. Southerland is a co-sponsor of the bill, which would block the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from developing or finalizing the proposed rule.

You can read the rest of this article here.

House Representatives against the rule argued that the bill was overly restrictive and would allow the EPA to regulate everything from backyard streams to stormwater runoff.

In response to these arguments, members of the EPA have stated that the new rule does not change any of the old requirements, it merely clarifies them. 

What do you think of the proposed rule? Is it overly restrictive or a necessary step to preserving the environment for future generations? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Want to learn more about stormwater requirements in your area? Come to our roundtable on September 16th in Maryland.