A bill is underway in the U.S. Senate to restrain the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from expanding limits set by Congress regarding regulation of bodies of water.A proposed EPA rule would expand jurisdiction of U.S. water under the Clean Water Act to include water that has the remotest connection to traditionally navigable waters, such as farm ponds, ditches, streambeds, and low lying areas that may be dry for much of the year.
The rule has generated much uncertainty in the agriculture community, Sen. Mike Johanns said.
The bill was written by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) Johanns is a co-sponsor.
“This proposal amounts to a massive power grab by EPA, which has demonstrated time and again that it is out of touch and out of control,” Johanns said.
“Imposing more regulatory burdens on American families, farmers and job creators is the last thing we need from an administration that has repeatedly pushed the envelope beyond congressional authority,” he said.
Johanns said the EPA needs to scrap this proposed rule and refocus its efforts within boundaries and definitions set by Congress.
Johanns co-sponsored similar efforts to revoke the EPA-ACE rule during Senate consideration of an energy efficiency bill in May.
He said the Democratic leadership blocked all amendments and the bill failed to pass. Johanns has also sent several letters to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy expressing opposition to the rule.