Sunday, March 29, 2020

Senator co-sponsors bill to mandate EPA revamp of U.S. waters rule

U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) is co-sponsoring legislation that would protect U.S. waters and the rights of landowners against heavy and costly regulatory governmental overreach, the senator said on Thursday.

The Federal Water Quality Protection Act would require the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to revise the EPA's “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule to exclude waters that have never been controlled by the federal government, such as isolated ponds, ditches and agriculture water that don’t have enough force to carry pollutants to navigable waters.

“Arkansas’ agriculture producers are rightfully concerned about the WOTUS rule and how it will limit their ability to use their land and grow their crops.” Boozman said. “I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues to work to rein in EPA and give the agency direction to write a rule that protects our waters without eroding the rights of landowners.

The bill requires the agencies to revise the rule to include:
• Traditional navigable waters and interstate waters
• Streams identified on maps at the scale used by EPA to identify potential sources of drinking water
• Streams with enough flow to carry pollutants to navigable waters, based on a quantifiable and statistically valid measure of flow for that geographic area
• Wetlands situated next to U.S. waters that protect water quality by preventing the movement of pollutants to navigable waters.

“By creating specific guidelines for EPA to implement, this legislation returns rule-making authority back to Congress and avoids additional regulatory hurdles,” Boozman said.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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