Late last week, the Chairmen and ranking members of the Congressional Committees that oversee the federal government’s compliance with the Clean Water Act (CWA) issued noteworthy comments on a rule proposed in March by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. The proposed rule, known as the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule, would expand the scope of waters covered by the CWA by changing the administrative definition of “waters of the United States” under the law. The comments of U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee (and others who signed the letter) urge the EPA and Army Corps to abandon WOTUS on the grounds that the rule disregards statutory and constitutional limits on the agencies’ jurisdiction over “navigable waters.” The letter characterizes the rule as providing “essentially no limit to federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.” To read the comments, click here.
As we have said before, CWC is also strongly opposed to WOTUS. The rule would create hardship for our members by changing the CWA’s definition of wetlands to include streams, lakes and other non-contiguous bodies of water, bringing them under the purview of CWC regulation and compliance. It would not only expand the EPA’s and Army Corps’ jurisdiction, but also require contractors to spend additional time and money determining if projects fall under this new definition and complying with the expanded requirements. For these reasons, CWC ‘s legislative staff is committed to seeing WOTUS withdrawn. Please visit NUCA’s Advocacy Center (here) and send a letter to your elected official urging him or her to oppose this rule.