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Graves: Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act Is Needed To Protect Family Farms and Small Businesses

Washington D.C., September 9, 2014 | DJ Jordan, Joel Hannahs (202-225-5821)

House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) released the following statement in support of the House vote on the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (HR 5078), which would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing their proposed rule that would redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act:

“This unprecedented ‘waters of the U.S.’ proposal is indicative of many of the problems with the federal government,” said Chairman Graves. “This proposed rule creates more confusion, and applies an Washington-knows-best mentality to an issue with many variables at the local level. Under this expansive Clean Water Act proposed rule, all tributaries, including small streams and ponds that only flow irregularly or when it rains, fall under this definition as federally-controlled waters and would be subject to the Clean Water Act’s permitting and other onerous regulatory requirements. Despite the obvious consequences for farmers, home builders and other small businesses, the EPA did not conduct a Small Business Advocacy Review panel and the agencies did not assess the impact of the proposed rule on small businesses as required by law. The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act is needed to protect family farms and small businesses from this gross overreach by this Administration.”

The Committee held a hearing on the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule on May 29, 2014. Small business leaders have overwhelmingly maintained that the rule creates more confusion, would be economically detrimental on many levels, and wouldn’t improve water quality.