“I oppose this bill because it simply does not work. The sponsors of this bill claim it will not kill the ongoing rulemaking, but only tell the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA to do the rulemaking over again. Yet, just two weeks ago, House Republicans voted to prevent the agency from taking any action to change the current rules. So, which is it?
“Many of us had concerns with the original proposed rule, but I appreciate that the Administration has addressed my concerns, and has addressed most of the concerns of the states and stakeholders. The Administration has also pledged to work with stakeholders on implementation once the rule is final.
“We have waited 12 years for clarity. For 12 long years, our nation’s streams and rivers have been vulnerable to pollution and degradation, and our government has spent millions of dollars working on bringing clarity to the decisions made by the Supreme Court. Delaying this further would cost the American taxpayer many more millions of dollars. Intervening now and forcing the Administration to start over again, particularly when we are on the cusp of clarity, is reckless. Let the Administration finish this rulemaking in the next few months, and let’s protect the water we have left.”
Napolitano is the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee. Her entire floor statement can be viewedhere.
· The Executive Branch has been trying to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act since January 15, 2003, when the Bush Administration released their Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for public comment.
· Since 2003, there have been 6 attempts by the Executive Branch to release their interpretation of the Waters of the United States.
· Clean Water Rule – California Fact Sheet