House Passes Waters Of The U.S. Over-regulation Act

The House of Representative’s passed the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 Tuesday afternoon.  Passage is largely an attempt to halt the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed Waters of the U.S. rule.  Senate action is unlikely however before the end of the year, or at all.  Still, passage was applauded by groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council.
 NCBA’s Ashley McDonald said “the interpretive rule actually narrows the scope of what is considered normal farming and ranching practices.” National Pork Producers Council President Howard Hill stated “NPPC wants EPA to rescind its agricultural exemptions rule immediately and to either withdraw the WOTUS rule or work with agriculture to make changes in the proposal that reflect real on-farm conditions.” House Ag Chair Frank Lucas said he was pleased that “the House approved this bipartisan, commonsense bill to block the EPA from expanding its control of our nation’s land and water resources.

Under current regulation, states have primary responsibility for regulating waters within their boundaries and twice the Unites States Supreme Court has reaffirmed this authority. The proposed rule strips this balance and expands federal jurisdiction to nearly every water in the country, including ditches, puddles and ponds. Southerland’s bill, which prevents EPA and Corps from finalizing, implementing, adopting or enforcing the proposed rule, has the bipartisan support of 120 co-spons