Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) voted for a measure last evening that rolls back the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial “Waters of the United States” regulatory proposal. HR 1732, which passed by a vote of 261-155, prevents the EPA from implementing the rule and directs it to work with stakeholders on a new rule. The EPA has refused to make any significant changes to its proposal, despite receiving approximately a million comments from across the country identifying the negative impacts the rule would have on farms, small businesses, and local governments.
“The EPA and other federal bureaucracies already ignore clear exemptions in order to attack farmers and ranchers, and they now want even more authority? The Waters of the US regulation would expand the federal government’s jurisdiction over vast swathes of Northern California, including gullies which contain water only during rainstorms and wet depressions in fields,” said LaMalfa. “Congress has made it clear that it never intended to provide these powers to the EPA, has demonstrated bipartisan opposition to the proposal, and has acted to defund it. It’s time that the EPA remembers that Congress writes our nation’s laws, not federal bureaucrats.”
LaMalfa referred to the EPA’s existing interpretation of the Clean Water Act, in which it ignores clear, explicit exemptions of agricultural activities in order to penalize farmers for changing crops or replanting fallowed fields. LaMalfa has successfully passed several measures to limit and defund this interpretation, most recently in the Energy & Water Appropriations bill the House passed earlier this month.