Home > newsroom > Page
Hastings Demands Army Corps Explain Its Settlement to Expand EPA’s Regulatory Authority over Columbia & Snake River Dams
Obama Administration Approves $140,000 in taxpayer-funded attorneys fees

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 6, 2014 -

Today, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers voicing strong concerns over the Corps’ settlement this week with Columbia Riverkeeper, a group that for years has sued the federal government and favors removal of Northwest dams. The settlement, which involves payment of over $140,000 in taxpayer-funded attorneys’ fees to the plaintiff, would vastly expand the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over Army Corps’ dam operations nationwide. These dams, especially those in the Pacific Northwest, are the major source of clean, renewable electricity, irrigation, flood control, and navigation.

“Incredibly, I understand that no one other than U.S. Department of Justice or Army Corps lawyers were made aware of the terms of this sweeping settlement before it was finalized, and signed by a judge.  Like an increasing number of the Obama Administration’s ‘sue and settle’ agreements over the past few years, this settlement was negotiated behind closed-doors by the Justice Department with a litigious group without consultation or input from those most directly impacted,” wrote Chairman Hastings in the letter. Of great concern is the likely precedent that this decision could have relating to the EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act, relating to the operation and maintenance of federal and non-federal dams, irrigation and maintenance of a vital navigational link on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. This comes amidst the EPA’s hugely controversial ‘Waters of the U.S.’ proposal, which could shut down a host of water development projects and make it easier for litigious groups to sue to block them. I would request an immediate and thorough explanation of the Army Corps’ rationale and details of its actions relative to this settlement, not just to Congress, but also to all affected state, local tribal and other stakeholders that have an interest in the Army Corps’ dam operations nationwide.”

To view the letter, click here.

###

Printable PDF of this Document

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Bishop: Native Hawaiian Rule is Unconstitutional

Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued the final rule to create a Native Hawaiian government. The rule, which is highly disputed and raises difficult constitutional issues, includes new adm...... Read more

Bishop: Obama Administration is Exploiting Native Americans to Advance Their Extreme Environmental Agenda

Today, the U.S. Departments of the Army, the Interior and Justice invited tribal leaders to participate in government-to-government consultations on infrastructure permitting. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-U...... Read more

Committee Passes Locally-Driven Utah Public Lands Initiative

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a markup on five bills including H.R. 5780 (Rep. Rob Bishop), the “Utah Public Lands Initiative Act.” This bill designates millions of acres of fed...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

No upcoming scheduled events

View All Events