Press Releases

Small Business Owners Testify in Opposition to the Clean Water Restoration Act

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Washington, D.C., July 22, 2009 | Angela Landers ((202) 226-1581) | comments

Today, the House Small Business Committee heard testimony from small business owners who expressed opposition to the Clean Water Restoration Act.

Congress enacted the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, or the Clean Water Act (CWA), to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.”  While protecting the nation’s water resources is a goal shared by all, expanding jurisdiction over the nation’s waters has raised concerns that tighter restrictions will be placed on farmers and small businesses.
“As a farmer I fully appreciate the property I own.  In order for me to achieve the greatest yields on my land I need to take care of my property.  Trust me when I say farmers are the very best stewards of the land—it is in their best interest,” said Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) in his opening remarks.  “However, I grow increasingly frustrated when the government dictates to me how I can use my property, as to suggest it knows better then those who live off it.”

The Clean Water Restoration Act has not yet been introduced in the House, but passed the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee earlier this year.  Witnesses at the hearing expressed concerns with the Clean Water Restoration Act’s further expansion would preempt state and local governments from making local land and water use decisions and costs would rise for businesses.

“One look at the expansive list of entities opposed to the Clean Water Restoration Act and you can immediately conclude that this legislation would have broad negative economic impact,” concluded Ranking Member Graves.  “With so many things working against our economy right now—government spending spiraling out of control, climate change legislation with the potential to drive energy costs through the roof, and a new health care bill estimated to cost over a trillion dollars—it is important to fully understand the economic consequences of our legislative actions.”


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