Home > newsroom > Page
Rural America Solutions Group Co-Chairs Call for Committee Hearings on Federal Power Grab of Clean Water Act
Bill threatens livelihood of farmers, small businesses and rural Americans nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2010 - Today, Co-Chairs of the Rural America Solutions Group Frank Lucas (R-OK), Sam Graves (R-MO) and Doc Hastings (R-WA) sent a letter to Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall asking for hearings on H.R. 5088, America's Commitment to Clean Water Act.

This bill greatly expands the scope of the Clean Water Act by removing the word “navigable” from its current definition.  As a result, every body of water – from farmers’ irrigation canals, to streams, small ponds and backyard muddle-puddles – could suddenly be subjected to sweeping new federal regulations and permitting.  This vast expansion of government authority would threaten jobs, increase costs for farmers and small businesses, and impact local water storage and delivery systems.

Letter excerpts:

"Although the bill has been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, this far-reaching legislation would have a great impact on Western irrigation projects, farming and ranching operations, mining and small businesses that are within the jurisdiction of the Committees of which you are Chairs and we Ranking Members. At a time when creating and protecting jobs should be our top priority, we need to gain a full understanding of the effects that this bill will have on the economies of rural communities and the nation as a whole.”

***

“We understand that a commitment was made last year to hold hearings on new legislation aimed at increasing federal water regulations. Unfortunately, no hearings have been scheduled on H.R. 5088…In fact, according to the Bureau of National Affairs, a Democrat majority staff member has explicitly stated "no hearings would be held." This is disconcerting and we hope it is not indicative of how this bill will be considered and debated in this body.”

***

“The American people deserve more openness and transparency in our government. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that the voice of the people is heard on this legislation.”

Click here to read the full text of letter.

# # #

Print version of this document


Contact: Tamara Hinton (Lucas), Alexandra Haynes (Graves), or Jill Strait (Hastings) (202) 225-1075 (Lucas), (202) 225-5821 (Graves), (202) 226-2311 (Hastings)

Latest News

Bishop: FWS Mimics EPA Tactics in Expansive Critical Habitat Proposal

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service announced the finalization of a new policy for defining and designating critical habitat under the Endangered Specie...... Read more

Committee Advances Bipartisan “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act”

Today, the Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3036 (Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ), the “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act,” legislation designating the National September 11 Mem...... Read more

New York Times: How Free Electricity Helped Dig $9 Billion Hole in Puerto Rico

To understand how Puerto Rico’s power authority has piled up $9 billion in debt, one need only visit this bustling city on the northwest coast. Twenty years ago, it was just another town with dwindlin...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

The Costly Impacts of Predation and Conflicting Federal Statutes on Native and Endangered Fish Species
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans | 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 87, H.R. 295, H.R. 1621 and H.R. 2817
Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
View All Events