WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) voted yes Tuesday, Sept. 9, on legislation to prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from broadening its authority over state and local waters.
Capito’s office released the following information Tuesday:
H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives 262-152. The bill would prohibit the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from enacting a proposed rule regarding the waters of the United States and expanding the EPA’s jurisdiction into state and local waters.
By redefining waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act, the EPA and the Army Corps would be able to claim jurisdiction over nearly any area connected to downstream navigable waters, including ditches. The House-passed bill would halt this proposed rule and require the agencies to work with state and local officials to draft a proposal to define the scope of waters covered under the Clean Water Act.
Statement from Congresswoman Capito:
“During the August recess, I traveled across West Virginia and talked to farmers, construction workers, miners and many others who are concerned about the EPA’s regulatory assault and the impact that the EPA’s actions are having on West Virginia’s jobs and West Virginia’s economy.
“This proposed rule has nothing to do with keeping waters safe for consumption or preserving our waterways – it’s about the EPA once again expanding its authority over state and local jurisdictions.
“Under the vague regulation proposed by the EPA and the Corps of Engineers, federal power would grow, subjecting our farmers, construction workers and energy producers to even more regulations, red tape and delays. Expanding the scope of federal jurisdiction will require many more Clean Water Act permit applications, and increased permitting delays are virtually certain. Those delays mean fewer jobs for West Virginians and more uncertainty for West Virginia’s small businesses.
“I’m proud to support legislation to reject this proposed rule and send federal officials back to the drawing board to work with state and local leaders on a jurisdictional waters rule that makes sense for our economy and our environment.”