Graves Welcomes Extended Comment Period for Controversial ‘Waters’ Rule
Chairman Urges Withdrawal of Rule to Better Assess Small Business Impact
House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision, as requested by Graves and other Committee Members, to extend the comment period on a controversial and costly new proposed rule that would expand the reach of Clean Water Act regulations.
“We told the agencies that they need to listen to America’s small businesses, farmers and ranchers about the costly impact of this rule. The decision to give more time for input, as we suggested, is a step in the right direction,” said Chairman Graves. “It’s clear that the agencies simply didn’t fully assess the impact on small businesses as the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires. It would be wiser still to withdraw the rule, step back and thoroughly weigh the costs and economic consequences for small businesses. As small businesses learn of this proposed rule, they are deeply concerned that ordinary activities on their land may require permits and result in delays, new costs or the loss of productive land. With a district that includes the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, I understand safeguarding our nation’s waters, but the CWA was not intended for small farm ponds or ditches and streams that run during heavy rains. There’s no question that the agencies have overstepped.”
The Committee held a May 29 hearing on the small business impacts of the rule.###