Hastings Opposes Amendment that would Expand Federal Control over U.S. Waters
Jun 1, 2012 -
Today, Congressman Doc Hastings voted against an amendment offered by Representative Jim Moran (D-Virginia) that would drastically expand the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reach over U.S. waters.
“I am pleased that the House rejected this misguided amendment, which would allow the federal government to seize control of virtually all U.S. waters, usurp state water rights, and regulate ditches, farm ponds and even mud puddles,” said Hastings. “The last thing we need is for federal bureaucrats to mandate complex and expensive federal permitting for basic land use activities in farm fields and back yards. This amendment would have unnecessarily opened up farmers in Central Washington to frivolous and expensive lawsuits, and I am pleased that a strong bipartisan majority of my colleagues joined together in defeating it.”
Specifically, Moran’s amendment would have stripped a provision in the Fiscal Year 2013 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that prohibited funds from being used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement flawed proposed guidance for the Clean Water Act that would have drastically expanded federal jurisdiction over U.S. waters. Currently, non-navigable waters are managed by state and local governments.
Moran’s amendment was defeated by a bipartisan vote of 152 to 237. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on final passage of the overall bill next week.
Hastings has long opposed efforts to impose federal control on non-navigable waters. He and his colleagues successfully prevented passage of legislation offered in 2007 and 2009 that would have taken the word “navigable” out of the Clean Water Act. Currently, he is a cosponsor of H.R. 4965, which would prevent both the Corps and the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing their proposed guidance to expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.