Chairman Roberts: Federal Water Quality Protection Act Approved by EPW Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today said legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory overreach on Waters of the U.S. was approved by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW). The legislation now awaits debate by the full Senate.

“I am glad to work with EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe against EPA’s gross overreach on rural America,” Roberts said. “EPA has ignored agriculture’s concerns with the rule. I hope the Senate will act swiftly to consider our bill to ensure farmers and ranchers and other rural businesses are a partner in efforts to protect clean water, and not treated as an adversary.”

The Kansas Department of Agriculture estimates the finalized WOTUS rule expands EPA’s jurisdiction of Kansas water bodies considered to be new “waters of the United States,” encompassing 182,000 stream miles – a 500 percent increase.

The Federal Water Quality Protection Act requires EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the current proposed rule, which has received considerable criticism from a variety of industries – including agriculture – and restart the full rulemaking process to develop a new rule in consultation with stakeholders, state partners and regulated entities.

For audio, and to view a short video on the bill, click here.

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