“We remain deeply concerned that the promised clarity from this rule comes at the steep price of more federal interference with state, local and private land use decisions,” NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn said in a press release. “This rule faces a high hurdle in convincing us that the permitting process will improve now that only the most tenuous connections form the basis for imposing federal requirements on top of existing state protections.”
In Congress, both the House and Senate are pushing back against the expanded WOTUS rule. A rider included in the House Interior and Environment Appropriations bill would prohibit the EPA from changing the definition of “navigable waters” and bar funding for the implementation of the WOTUS rule.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing May 19 on S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, introduced April 30 by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming). S. 1140 passed the EPW Committee June 10, and awaits action on the Senate floor.