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House Blocks EPA’s ’Power Grab’

The defeated rule would have expanded the Agencies’ authorities to "unprecedented levels."

Tue May 19, 2015 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

By a 261 to 155 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from greatly expanding their regulatory powers under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

By changing the definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) the proposed rule would expand the Agencies’ authorities to unprecedented levels, threatening private property rights and economic development. H.R. 1732, the “Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015,” would force EPA and the Corp to develop a new proposal that respects the jurisdictional limitations imposed by Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

“We’re gratified to see the House of Representatives stand up to EPA’s overreach by setting a more reasonable path where states, industry, and other stakeholders can work together to protect water quality,” said James G. Toscas, Portland Cement Association (PCA) president and CEO.

On numerous occasions, PCA has urged EPA and the Corps to withdraw the proposed WOTUS rule and work with stakeholders to develop a proposal that respects the will of Congress and the Supreme Court. By directing withdrawal of the Agencies’ proposal, the “Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015” initiates a process that will achieve this balance while ensuring environmental protection.

“We take environmental compliance very seriously, and this vague and arbitrary approach would make that job more difficult,” said Toscas. “It is so ambiguous that it could include something as minor as a temporary pool of water that forms after a rainstorm, with determinations made on a case-by-case basis. The industry looks forward to working with the EPA, state and local officials and other partners on the development of reasonable water guidelines.”

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