Thursday, May 28, 2015

Greg Walden: EPA’s expansion of federal water rules threaten farm and ranch jobs in rural Oregon


WASHINGTON, D.C.  — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to finalize its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which would expand the federal government’s authority over waterways within the U.S.
“All across Oregon, farmers, ranchers, and other property owners have been wondering what the EPA would try to unnecessarily regulate next. The Administration’s new proposal would expand federal authority over virtually any water in the United States, including canals, irrigation ditches, and stock ponds. This blatant bureaucratic overreach could drastically increase uncertainty and threaten jobs and livelihoods in rural Oregon,” Walden said.
“The EPA has ignored Congress’ repeated rejection of similar legislative efforts to expand jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.  Of course, we shouldn’t be that surprised. The agency has tried this before, and they have twice been rebuked by the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, I was proud to support a bipartisan bill passed by the House to stop implementation of this rule and send the agency back to the drawing board. I hope that the Senate will swiftly pass this bill. The economies of rural Oregon and other communities around the country face enough obstacles already. We don’t need agencies in Washington D.C. erecting more hurdles and creating more uncertainty.”
On May 12, the House—with Walden’s strong support—passed the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732), which requires the EPA to withdraw the rule.

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