“Strong opposition to EPA’s approach is based on the devastating economic impacts that a federal takeover of state waters would have,” they wrote. “Additional regulatory costs associated with changes in jurisdiction and increases in permits will erect bureaucratic barriers to economic growth, negatively impacting farms, small businesses, commercial development, road construction and energy production, to name a few. In addition, expanding federal control over intrastate waters will substantially interfere with the ability of individual landowners to use their property.”
“We urge you to change course and to commit to operating under the limits established by Congress, even if those limits are impermissibly overlooked in the so-called Connectivity Report.”
Today, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member David Vitter (R-La.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) wrote the Office of Management and Budget to ask that they put the brakes on the rule.
“The consequences of a rushed ‘waters of the United States’ rulemaking are too important to ignore. The property rights of millions of Americans are at stake, as many fear their ability to make productive use of their land will become subject to EPA’s regulatory whims. EPA has already sent a dangerous signal by committing to the Connectivity Report well before the Report’s merits have been decided. Further, given that the text draft rule would provide EPA with authority over ponds, tributaries, and ditches never before subject to federal regulation, the significance of the Report and its relationship to the rule make EPA’s premature commitment to the Report even more suspect,” they wrote.
To comply with the EPA’s approach, the lawmakers added, would “make a mockery of OMB’s responsibility.”