House Resolution 112 - Introduced HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 112 BY WILLS A Resolution regarding the Environmental Protection 1 Agency’s definition of “waters of the United 2 States”. 3 WHEREAS, the federal Clean Water Act and 4 implementing regulations of the past four decades 5 recognize the partnership between federal, state, and 6 local governments to achieve the objectives of the 7 Act; and 8 WHEREAS, section 101(g) of the Clean Water Act 9 expressly states that “the authority of each state to 10 allocate quantities of water within its jurisdiction 11 shall not be superseded, abrogated or otherwise 12 impaired by this Act”; and 13 WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection 14 Agency and United States Army Corps of Engineers have 15 proposed a rule to redefine “waters of the United 16 States” that could significantly increase the costs and 17 regulatory requirements for state and local governments 18 and ultimately the costs for state and local residents 19 and businesses; and 20 WHEREAS, the proposed rule provides almost unlimited 21 federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, impairs 22 state authority and therefore contravenes congressional 23 intent, and is not consistent with three distinct 24 rulings by the Supreme Court regarding the limits of 25 federal jurisdiction; and 26 WHEREAS, the proposed rule will apply to all 27 programs of the Clean Water Act and therefore 28 -1- LSB 5781YH (2) 86 tr/nh 1/ 3
H.R. 112 subject more activities to Clean Water Act permitting 1 requirements, National Environmental Policy Act 2 analyses, mitigation requirements, and citizen suits 3 challenging local actions based on the applicability 4 and interpretation of newfound authorities; and 5 WHEREAS, the proposing agencies’ economic analysis 6 for this rule did not consider impacts for the full 7 range of Clean Water Act programs affected or the 8 economic impacts to small businesses, and the analysis 9 relied on outdated cost data; and 10 WHEREAS, the justification for the scope of the 11 proposed rule rests on a scientific analysis that is 12 still under review and the proposing agencies proceeded 13 with development of a proposed rule addressing issues 14 associated with the connectivity of waters prior to 15 being informed by the Science Advisory Board review and 16 the implications of its findings; and 17 WHEREAS, the proposed rule does not provide an 18 explanation or clear understanding about how the 19 proposed expansion of Clean Water Act jurisdiction and 20 transfer of ultimate authority might affect other Clean 21 Water Act programs, state laws and responsibilities, 22 water rights, land use, governances, and regulated 23 parties; and 24 WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency and the 25 Army Corps of Engineers have not fully consulted the 26 states and have undermined the cooperative federalism 27 asserted in the Clean Water Act; NOW THEREFORE, 28 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, That 29 the House of Representatives urges the Environmental 30 -2- LSB 5781YH (2) 86 tr/nh 2/ 3
H.R. 112 Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to 1 fully consult and engage states in any process that 2 may affect the management of their waters and to defer 3 redefining “waters of the United States” until the 4 Science Advisory Board concludes its review and the 5 Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of 6 Engineers incorporate the conclusions of such review, 7 an economic analysis is completed that fully identifies 8 impacts of the proposal and any revised proposal on 9 economic development, and the redefinition provides 10 clarity on definitions and federal jurisdiction 11 consistent with previous Supreme Court rulings to 12 affirm that there is a limit to federal jurisdiction 13 under the Clean Water Act. 14 -3- LSB 5781YH (2) 86 tr/nh 3/ 3