WV Congressional Delegation Disagrees with EPA Clean Water Rule
The State Journal
27 May 2015
By Mandi Cardosi, Government Reporter
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rolled out a plan to
protect the country's waterways.
According to EPA, the rule is meant to clarify the definitions of
waters protected under the existing Clean Water Act because two
Supreme Court rulings from 2001 and 2006 had left the reach of the
However, Congressional delegation from West Virginia disagree with
U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., said the rule is another attempt
by the government to impose more regulations.
“This rule expands the federal government's reach over private
lands and the states through a dubious interpretation of the Clean
Water Act,” Jenkins said in a news release. “This administration's
continued disregard for the impact of its regulations on working
families, farmers and small businesses must be stopped. It's time
for the EPA to listen to West Virginians, not bureaucrats.”
Earlier this month, Jenkins said he voted to block the
implementation of the Waters of the United States rule. H.R. 1732,
the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, passed the U.S. House of
Representatives on May 11 by a vote of 261-155.
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also expressed her
disdain for the rule.
“The final rule announced today is deeply troubling,” she said in
a news release about the topic. “Rather than incorporating input
from Congress and concerned Americans, this rule doubles down on
overreach and threatens to impede small businesses, agriculture,
and coal and natural gas production.
“There is no question that we want to protect our drinking water
sources and our precious natural resources, but a rule that will
subject puddles and ditches to regulation would lead to a massive
expansion of costly permitting requirements.
Capito, in April, joined a group of Senators to introduce The
Water Quality Protection Act, an alternative approach to the
Waters of the United States rule.
“This legislation would protect traditional navigable water from
pollution while also protecting farmers, energy producers, small
businesses and manufacturers,” she said. “I will continue working
with my colleagues to move this legislation forward and rein in
the misguided rule.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also believes the EPA is
“It is completely unreasonable that our country's ditches, puddles
and other un-navigable waters be subjected to the same regulations
as our greatest lakes and rivers, and implementing this rule will
certainly have a significant impact on West Virginia's economy,
hindering businesses, manufacturing and energy production,”
Manchin said in a news release. “The bottom line is that no
federal agency should go around Congress to control what has not
been legislated, especially when its actions will harm economic
In April, Manchin helped introduce the Water Quality Protection
Act to ensure that states and local communities are consulted in
meaningful ways on regulations before they are formally proposed,
especially if the rule will have a significant impact on future
investments, capital costs, operations and mandates.
U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-WVa., called the rule “blatant
He said the EPA is only interested in more control.
“From farmland to coal mines, the EPA wants more control. Giving
the federal government the authority to regulate ‘bodies of water'
that are nothing more than drainage ditches will only lead to more
bureaucratic bullying, excessive burdens, and fewer jobs,”
McKinley said in a release. “I've visited West Virginia farms and
seen what the EPA wants to regulate. These ditches and puddles
only have water when it rains.
“This is nothing more than an excuse for the EPA to expand its
control over the lives of everyday West Virginians. It defies
common sense to punish farmers and homeowners for something Mother