Waters of the U.S. Bill introduced—House Committee vote this week

April 17, 2015

On April 13, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Chairman Bill Shuster and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs jointly introduced the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1732) to address the proposed waters of the U.S. rule.

Click here to view the list of 26 cosponsors. NACo sent a letter in support of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act—click here to view the letter.

The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed waters of the U.S. rule within 30 days and to rewrite a new proposed rule after consultation with state and local governments.

In April 2014, the EPA and the Corps jointly released a new proposed rule that would amend the definition of “waters of the U.S.” within the Clean Water Act and dramatically expand the range of public safety infrastructure that falls under federal permitting authority.

Since its publication, NACo has expressed concerns about the scope of the proposed rule and called for the proposed rule to be withdrawn until further analysis and more in-depth consultation with state and local officials could be completed.

The Chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Jim Inhofe is currently drafting a Senate bill that would also urge the EPA and the Corps to restart the waters of the U.S. rule-making process. The committee is tentatively planning to introduce the bill by the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

Last week, the EPA announced the proposed rule was sent to the Office of Management and Budget for a final interagency review.  The waters of the U.S. rule is expected to be finalized within the next several months.

Resources

Since the proposal was unveiled in April, NACo has advocated for greater clarity and launched an online resource hub and action center.

Click here to view VACo’s letter commenting on proposed WOTUS rule.

To view the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, click here.

To view factsheet on the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, click here.

For more information on the proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule, visit NACo’s online resource hub.

Source: National Association of Counties. NACo Staff contact: Julie Ufner, jufner@naco.org.

VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE

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