The U.S. House's passage of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act on Tuesday, requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw and revamp its proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, was greeted warmly by . U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), who voted for the legislation.
“This EPA rule was just another example of executive overreach by this administration. There’s no valid reason for the EPA to regulate the dry creek beds and ditches of ranchers and farmers in my district,” Hurd said. “This legislation will protect the existing rights of land-owners and responsibilities of local governments, and bring transparency and accountability back into the process.”
The bill was introduced in the wake of mass public comments protesting the expansions of EPA authority outlined in the WOTUS rule, which widened the agency’s jurisdiction to include waters that fed into navigable waterways.
The legislation would require the EPA to withdraw the proposed rule and draft a new version, as well as take input from the tens of thousands of public comments submitted, as well as input from state and local leaders, into account. The bill also stipulates that the EPA would submit a report on how the comments and input are used in the new rule’s creation and that all agency communications and documents be made accessible to the general public.