House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) spoke in support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Act of 2015. The bill, which would force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to stop moving forward with the proposed “Waters of the United States” rule, passed the House by a vote of 261-155.
Chairman Conaway’s floor statement:
I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015. I cannot stress enough the importance of this legislation to stop the Obama Administration’s Waters of the United States proposed rule and its damaging impacts on our country.
This rule, in its current form, is a massive overreach of EPA’s authority and will impact nearly every farmer and rancher in America. It gives EPA the ability to regulate essentially any body of water they want, including farm ponds and even ditches that are dry for most of the year. The EPA¹s defense of this rule is that it provides clarity to producers regarding what is and is not regulated, but in reality, this rule will allow nearly every body of water in the United States to be controlled by federal regulators.
What makes the rule ambiguous is the claim made by EPA and the Army Corps that the rule is not all encompassing, yet the agencies also declared they will use their best professional judgment on when they will regulate a water and when they will not. These vague statements hold little comfort for farmers and ranchers who will face steep civil fines for any violation.
For these reasons, I strongly support this legislation that forces EPA and the Corps to stop moving forward with the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule and do as they should have from the beginning – work with states and local stakeholders to develop a new and proper set of recommendations. It is imperative that the Administration listen to rural America.
Dear Grassroots Member,
Last night, the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Act, by a vote of 247-155. 24 Democrats voted in favor of the bill. If you would like to see more information on how your Representatives voted, please visit: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2015/roll219.xml.
Thank you for your engagement on this important issue.
The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1732), introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH).
“This onerous rule will impact the Nation’s economy, threaten jobs, lead to costly litigation, and restrict the rights of landowners, states and local governments to make decisions about their lands,” said Shuster. “State and local governments and the regulated community all have voiced significant concerns about the EPA’s failure to properly consult with them or consider the impacts in the development of this proposal. Today’s bill simply stops this rulemaking, and requires the EPA to go back and do it right – consult with state and local governments and other stakeholders in developing a new regulation. We can continue to protect our waters without unreasonable and burdensome regulations on American businesses, farmers, and families.”
“The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 will protect homeowners, builders, ranchers, farmers and small business owners from the harmful Waters of the United States rule,” said Gibbs. “The EPA chose to bypass states and local governments while drafting this rule and the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act will force the EPA to go back to the drawing board. This bill gives the agencies, their state partners, and stakeholders the chance to work together and develop a rule that does what was intended – provide clarity for the regulated community.”
Click here to read about how the House Committee voted on bill to withdraw WOTUS.
Click here to read the WOTUS Backstory.
Click here to read about Congress weighing in on WOTUS.