April 27, 2011
Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
David Lungren David_Lungren@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-5642
EPA WATER PERMITTING GUIDANCE WIDELY EXTENDS FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY OVER WATER BODIES
Inhofe Says Senate Vote Is Needed
Washington, D.C.—Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, issued the following statement in response to EPA’s release of permitting guidance covering jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act.
“EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act, as reflected in this guidance document, knows no bounds, as the agency sees nearly every body of water in the United States, no matter how insignificant, as potentially falling within its reach," Sen. Inhofe said.
“The agency’s claims of innocence about its regulatory expansion ring hollow once one wades through the guidance document’s assertions of what is considered ‘jurisdictional’. One is hard pressed to conjure just what is not included in EPA’s ambit. It’s long past time for EPA to follow the Supreme Court’s rulings that circumscribe its water permitting authority.
“This guidance document further shifts the balance of regulatory authority away from states to the federal bureaucracy. EPA should instead follow the Clean Water Act, which gives states primary authority over controlling water pollution within their borders. States have the experience and the competence to do exactly that.“Given how broadly this guidance reaches throughout the economy, potentially affecting farmers, homebuilders, energy producers, and thousands of small businesses, I believe Congress should vote on the issue of how far federal authority should extend over the nation’s waters.”