The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Public Lands Council as well as other associations applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for sending a clear message to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers that the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule is an expansion of federal jurisdiction that strips rights from private property owners.
Passing the full Committee today by a vote of 36 to 22, H.R. 1732 Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 requires the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw the WOTUS proposal within 30 days. NCBA President Philip Ellis said cattlemen and women appreciate the Committee's efforts for moving legislation forward that addresses the problematic proposed rule.
"The subjective and ambiguous language of the proposed rule would significantly broaden the federal government's power to regulate waters and adjacent lands that convey water," said Ellis. "We also appreciate the legislation requiring the federal government to work with state and local governments, further protecting states' rights."
The bill also charges the agencies with developing a new proposed rule that must take into consideration all of the comments received and reach consensus with the state and local governments on defining "Waters of the United States."
"The Administration's proposed rule is nothing more than regulatory land grab vastly expanding federal authority," said Brenda Richards, PLC president and rancher from Idaho. "Instead of proactively reaching out to stakeholders before proposing the rule, the Administration pushed forward a rule that didn't take into account the concerns of agriculture."
NCBA and PLC urge Congress to act on this important piece of legislation without delay.