Last week Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) voted to support the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act.
According to Reed who is a co-sponsor of the bill, it is designed to protect local control over waterways. The Corning Republican adds that it’s important for state and local officials to maintain primary responsibility over local waterways to avoid Washington from mandating sweeping, one-size-fits-all regulations.
If enacted, the bill would prohibit s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding the federal government’s role and regulatory influence under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
However, Opponents of the bill say if enacted, it would prevent the EPA from moving forward with an important rule that clarifies which waters, and in particular wetlands, fall under the protection of the Clean Water Act – which was designed to prevent activities that harm or pollute the nation’s rivers, streams, lakes and coastal waters.
Opponents of Reed’s bill say that it is tied to a misinformation campaign intended to distract Americans from the important role the EPA and the Clean Water Act play in preserving and protecting the environments. The misinformation has become so widespread that the EPA had to create a website called “Ditch the Myth” to explain what the rule does and does not do.
Another version of the bill is currently in the Senate awaiting its consideration.