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Jaime Herrera Beutler Helps U.S. House Advance Bipartisan Protection Against EPA’S Unnecessary Expansion of Control Over Individuals’, Small Businesses’ and Farmers’ Property

Jaime, U.S. House strongly reject EPA attempt to regulate ditches, man-made ponds, seasonally wet areas on private property

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Washington, DC, May 12, 2015 | comments
Jaime Herrera Beutler voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives today to pass the “Regulatory Integrity Protection Act.” This legislation would reject the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ new definition of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act.
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Jaime Herrera Beutler voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives today to pass the “Regulatory Integrity Protection Act.” This legislation would reject the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ new definition of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act.

“I will make sure that Congress does not let the EPA’s complete redefinition of ‘navigable waters’ move forward unchallenged.  This is a prime example of federal overreach gone wrong, and the EPA isn’t backing off its sweeping change with impacts across Southwest Washington,” said Jaime.  “If left in place, it could force all land owners with any water on their land to apply and pay for a clean water permit. Adding every body of water throughout the country to the Army Corps’ jurisdiction would completely overwhelm their capacity and bring the permitting process to a grinding halt.” 

“Folks in Southwest Washington deserve the peace of mind that they are not in violation of a vague federal regulation that has the potential to claim jurisdiction over a puddle,” Jaime continued. “Piling up to $270,000 on an individual or business currently constructing a new building or making other improvements is harmful and unproductive. We want to be encouraging development in Southwest Washington, not creating a maze of red tape for Southwest Washington residents, farmers, and businesses.” 

Background:

The new definition of “waters of the U.S.” would change 42 years of Clean Water Act policy to allow the EPA to regulate every ditch, man-made pond, and seasonally wet area on public and private property as "navigable waters."  Specifically, the new definition would expand federal authority to require private land owners, farmers, businesses, cities, and counties to obtain new permits for use of these broadly defined wet areas.  A Supreme Court case from 2006 cited the cost of a Clean Water Act permit at $270,000 that, on average, takes 788 days to obtain. Penalties for violation of the Clean Water Act can be up to $37,500 per day.

The U.S. House passed and Jaime supported similar legislation during the last congressional session.

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