From: The Honorable Rod Blum
Sent By: peter.mihalick@mail.house.gov
Date: 3/4/2016

Please consider joining the other fine Members that have signed onto this important bipartisan Dear Colleague defunding WOTUS for FY2017:

 

Current Signatories (62): Blum, Gosar, Yoho, Peterson, Abraham, Babin, Barr, Benishek, Black, Bost, Boustany

Brat, Brooks, Buck, Byrne, Collins (GA), Conaway, Cramer, Denham,DesJarlais, Duncan (SC), Emmer, Farenthold, Goodlatte, Graves (MO)

Guinta, Harper, Hartzler, Heck (NV), Huelskamp, Huizenga, Hurd, Jenkins (KS), Johnson (OH), Johnson (TX), Jones, Kelly (MS), Kelly (PA), King (IA)

LaMalfa, Lamborn, Lucas, Luetkemeyer, Marino, Massie, Neugebauer, Newhouse, Olson, Pearce, Pompeo, Ratcliffe, Rokita, Rouzer,Russell

Smith (MO), Thompson (PA), Thornberry, Weber, Westerman, Williams (TX), Young (AK), Zinke

Dear Colleague:

We invite you to cosign a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting inclusion of specific language in the upcoming Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 and the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from using appropriated funds for the “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)”  rule, or any substantially similar rule. 

Although currently being litigated in the court system, final implementation WOTUS would be extremely dangerous by expanding Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction to nearly all areas with any hydrologic connection to downstream navigable waters, including ditches, pipes, and farmland ponds, as well as other waters traditionally regulated by the state.

This proposed water grab runs contrary to Supreme Court decisions as well as state and tribal water laws. If implemented, this misguided proposal would have devastating economic consequences for farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and communities throughout the country.

The inclusion of our funding prohibition language would prevent the EPA and the USACE from using agency funds to implement this extremely flawed proposal. The text of the letter follows our signatures.  The deadline to sign on is COB Wednesday, March 9th, 2016.  If you have any questions or would like to cosign, please do not hesitate to contact Peter Mihalick (peter.mihalick@mail.house.gov) with Congressman Blum’s office, Jeff Small (Jeff.Small@mail.house.gov) with Congressman Gosar’s office, Larry Calhoun (larry.calhoun@mail.house.gov) with Congressman Yoho’s office, or Adam Durand (adam.durand@mail.house.gov) in Ranking Member Peterson’s office. 

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

/s                                                                                                        /s

Rod L. Blum                                                                                     Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.

Member of Congress                                                                        Member of Congress

 

/s                                                                                                        /s

Ted Yoho, DVM                                                                              Collin C. Peterson

Member of Congress                                                                       Member of Congress

 

March xx, 2016

[Address Block]

Dear Chairmen Calvert and Simpson and Ranking Members McCollum and Kaptur:

We write to urge you to include language in the upcoming Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 and the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017  which would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from using appropriated funds to implement the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS), or any substantially similar rule or guidance under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The final adoption of the flawed WOTUS rule by the EPA and USACE will have disastrous effects on agriculture, small business, and municipalities across the country.  The language of the rule is drafted so vaguely that it encompasses nearly all water sources with any hydrologic connection to downstream navigable waters, including ditches, pipes, farmland ponds, groundwater, as well as other waters traditionally regulated by the state.

This proposal runs contrary to Supreme Court decisions as well as state and tribal water laws. If implemented, this water grab would constitute an unlawful expansion of federal authority under the CWA.  Currently, there are 170 bipartisan cosponsors of legislation to roll back this rule. Furthermore, more than 200 different stakeholders throughout the nation have raised serious concerns and issued public statements in opposition to WOTUS.

Although the rule is currently tied up in the court system, it is imperative Congress act now to prevent further implementation of this devastating rule and prohibit the EPA and USACE from using appropriated funds for WOTUS or any substantially similar rule.

Accordingly, we ask that you include language similar to the following in the respective Appropriations Acts:

“SEC. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce the final rule entitled ‘‘Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ ’’ published in the Federal Register on June 29, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 37054), or any substantially similar rule.

We ask that you to consider the effects that this rule would have on important sectors of our economy, and we urge you to include prohibiting language in the upcoming Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 and the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017. 

We thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request, and for your continued leadership on your committees.

Sincerely,

[Signature block]

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