From the Congressional Western Caucus:
Today, the Obama Administration released a draft “Clean Water Protection Guidance.” This guidance document dramatically expands federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The draft released today was a subtly revised version of an initial draft that received significant opposition.
“This is another attempt by the Administration to circumvent the proper process to implement its job-killing policies. It is clear that even the Obama Administration acknowledges it was significantly overreaching with their initial proposal. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration continues their war on western jobs under the guise of a ‘non-binding’ policy,” said Western Caucus Chairman Steve Pearce.
“They started by going after lands with the egregious ‘Wild Lands’ policy and now they are going after water by expanding federal jurisdiction with this guidance. The Administration continues to set a dangerous precedent by circumventing the proper procedures and showing a total disregard for western jobs by its continued push to implement job killing policies,” continued Pearce.
The ‘guidance’ will substantively change federal policy with respect to which waters fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and significantly increase the scope of the federal government’s power to regulate waters. It will significantly expand the federal government regulatory reach on private property.
Legislative attempts to expand this authority were met with strong bipartisan resistance in previous Congresses. Last week, a bipartisan letter signed by 170 Members of Congress was sent to the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers expressing serious concerns about the Clean Water Act Guidance and the expansion of federal jurisdiction without following the proper rulemaking process.