In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of its final Waters of the United States rule Wednesday, the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) issued a release protesting the expansion of the agency’s authority.
The rule grants the EPA jurisdiction over waters that feed into navigable waterways, extending the previous limits of federal power over 3.5 million miles of rivers and streams to 8 million, according to the PMPA release. The implications of the expansion include increased permitting costs for farmers, manufacturers and other business groups.
“We are disappointed by this vast and unnecessary overreach by the Administration,” PMPA’s co-interim Executive Director Miles Free said. “How is the ditch at the end of our lot here in Brecksville, Ohio, a ‘navigable waterway’? This is just another example of a misguided regulation, which will lead to increased permitting costs and delays of economic development projects.”
The rule has been criticized since its initial introduction in April 2014, and is already embattled in Congress, where the Senate and House of Representatives both currently hold bills to prevent its implementation.
“We applaud the bipartisan group of lawmakers who also recognize this rule’s flawed approach and massive land grab by the federal government,” Free said. “There are much better ways to keep our environment safe than by taking a Whack-A-Mole approach."