On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write in strong support of HB 5078, the Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. HB 5078 would prevent the EPA from finalizing the Waters of the U.S. rule that seeks to clarify the federal government’s authority to regulate certain intrastate waters under the Clean Water Act.
As proposed this year, the “Waters of the U.S.” rule would increase the jurisdiction of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers by expanding the definition of “navigable waters” as used in the Clean Water Act (CWA). By redefining “navigable waters” under the CWA, the proposed rule would allow the EPA and Corps to regulate private land in the U.S. where certain bodies of water may flow. Such an expansive power grab by the EPA poses a serious threat to land owners across the U.S. who could possibly see their individual land rights infringed if the rule goes forward.
HB 5078 prevents the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing, adopting, or implementing the Waters of the U.S. rule, and also prevents both agencies from using the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule or any substantially similar proposed rule as the basis for any future rulemaking regarding the enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
HB 5078 further protects the rights of states and individual land owners by requiring the Army Corps and the EPA to work with relevant state and local officials to develop recommendations for a regulatory proposal that would outline the scope of waters covered and not covered under the CWA. Thus HB 5078 would ensure any future action taken by the Army Corps or the EPA pursuant to the CWA is clear and transparent.
Americans for Prosperity is proud to support HB 5078 as an effort to protect the property rights of individual land owners and American businesses, and prevent future regulatory overreach by the EPA or the Army Corps under the guise of the CWA. I urge you to support its passage and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Brent Wm. Gardner
Director of Federal Affairs
Americans for Prosperity