House joins farmers in stand against EPA overreach
Washington—More than just a clear rejection of the overreach that lies in EPA’s proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule, House passage on Sept. 9 of the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078) “is an unmistakable signal that the tide is turning against those who ignore the constitutional separation of powers in the United States,” according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “We will ditch this rule.”
Farmers, ranchers and many others are opposed to the rule because it could ultimately lead to the unlawful expansion of federal regulation to cover routine farming and ranching practices as well as other common private land uses, such as building homes. Among other things, the rule would expand federal control over land features such as ditches and areas of agricultural land that are wet only during storms.
The WOTUS Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 (H.R. 5078) would do the following three things: Prevent the agencies from using the rule as a basis for future administrative actions that would undermine the federal-state partnership or usurp Congress’ express authority to change the scope of the Clean Water Act through a redefinition of “waters of the United States”; prevent the agencies from developing guidance that would expand the scope of waters covered by the CWA; and prevent the agencies from implementing the interpretive rule.