WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Doug Collins (GA09), calling proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations a “land grab,” voted today for a House bill to prevent the agency from expanding its power under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 would require the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw their proposal to regulate even puddles and ditches within 30 days. “The Ninth District is Georgia’s agricultural heartland. As a result of this rule, our poultry houses could be forced to relocate. Our cattle could be forced into smaller pastures. Farmers’ acreage could shrink dramatically,” warned the Northeast Georgia member.
Rep. Collins said that not only farmers would suffer the consequences of a re-definition of “navigable waterways” to include rain runoff, potentially. “Any puddle on private property, urban or rural, could become the domain of EPA bureaucrats.”
The Congressman is an original cosponsor of the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, another bill to rein in what he calls an overreaching EPA. In his letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Army Secretary John McHugh, as well as on the House floor, Collins has urged them to abandon their plan.
“Congress clearly intended the CWA to be a partnership between states and the federal government, which the federal government is attempting to dictate,” said the member of the House Judiciary Committee. “Georgia counties could lose their ability to make economic and public safety decisions.”
“Today’s bill would oblige the EPA to consult localities and businesses, as well as scientific facts, before developing any new plan to regulate state waterways,” said Rep. Collins. “It would have to include an accurate economic analysis.”
Bipartisan legislators and the Supreme Court have also rejected the EPA’s re-definition of “waters of the United States.”