Robert Hurt votes for Clean Water Act rollback

Robert_HurtCongressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which would require the Secretary of the Army and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw a rule that unilaterally expanded the Clean Water Act’s scope to essentially any body of water and would require the Administration to consult state and local governments, along with potentially affected industries, before drafting a new rule:

“Last week, I met with farmers across Virginia’s Fifth District who explained how excessive federal regulatory mandates, especially those put forth by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, continue to negatively impact their operations.  Our nation’s farmers, and all those involved in agriculture, invest significantly in clean water to ensure the sustainability of the environment, as it is essential to their livelihood.  The last thing they need is an overzealous bureaucrat in Washington regulating a pond on their property.

“Changing the Clean Water Act is solely the responsibility of Congress, not of the Executive Branch.  Unfortunately, this Administration, under the guise of ‘clarifying’ the scope of the law, unilaterally expanded the statute’s range without congressional authorization.  Those changes to the Clean Water Act, which fly in the face of legislative history, legal precedent, and even the plain statutory language, represent significant uncertainty and costs to rural America as they expand the reach of the law to essentially any body of water – including ditches, culverts, and farmland ponds.

“The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act will safeguard rural America’s interests and preserve the important federal and state partnership in ensuring clean waterways.  This legislation will ensure that farmers can spend their time doing what they do best – producing a safe and abundant food supply for Americans – instead of being forced to waste time, money, and other resources to cut through this unnecessary red tape.  I am pleased that this legislation passed the House today with bipartisan support, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to protect our family farmers from harmful, government-created obstacles.”

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