U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) has sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy urging the EPA to halt the progress of their “Waters of the U.S.” rule.
The 45 members of the Senate and Congressional Western Caucuses joined Denham in signing the letter to McCarthy. The letter calls for the EPA to refrain from moving forward with their “Waters of the U.S.” rule which, according to Denham, would drastically expand the EPA’s federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.
“In its current form, the Clean Water Act is well intentioned and already regulates truly navigable waters and streams,” said Denham. “But this latest proposed rule is problematic in its scope, overly broad and inconsistent with federal law and Supreme Court precedent. The actions by EPA and the Army Corps could potentially result in the federal government requiring discharge permits on private farm lands, ranch lands and in forestry activities and I am committed to keeping the pressure on the EPA and Army Corps to stay off of farm lands.”
The members of the caucus highlighted how the rule would negatively impact farms, small businesses, energy production, commercial development, and substantially interfere with landowners’ ability to use their property.
“We urge you to change course by committing to operating under the limits established by Congress, recognizing the states’ primary role in regulating and protecting their streams, ponds, wetlands and other bodies of water. We also again ask that you consider the economic impacts of your policies knowing that your actions will have serious impacts on struggling families, seniors, low-income households and small business owners,” Western Caucus members wrote in their letter.
In addition to Denham, the letter was signed by Senators John Barasso (R-WY), David Vitter (R-LA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mike Lee (R-UT), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Roy Blunt (R-AR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Johanns (R-NE), James Risch (R-ID) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Representatives Stevan Pearce (NM-02), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rob Bishop (UT-01), Markwayne Mullin (OK-01), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Don Young (AK-AL), Walter Jones (NC-03), Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Scott Tipton (CO-03), Mike Conaway (TX-11), Mark Amadei (NV-02), Cory Gardner (CO-04), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chris Stewart (UT-02), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Kevin Cramer (ND-AL), Devin Nunes (CA-22), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Randy Neugebaurer (TX-19), Raul Labrador (ID-01), Kristi Noem (SD-AL), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Trent Franks (AZ-08), Paul Broun (GA-10), Mike Coffman (CO-06), and Jason Chaffetz (UT-03).