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AFP: Push to Rewrite EPA Rules Is Pointless & Costly

Feb 7, 2022 by AFP

Arlington, VA – Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is urging the Biden administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt a regulatory action that is certain to impose huge and needless costs on the already inflation-strapped U.S. economy.

Not only would the EPA process hurt broad swaths of the private sector—from large employers down to single-family homeowners—but the decision to proceed is puzzling, given that the Supreme Court is poised to decide a legal case that would take precedence over any EPA action.

At issue are Biden-backed rules revisions to the 1972 Clean Water Act, which would potentially unleash a flood of costly and onerous regulatory rulings throughout the 50 states. The Biden administration is pushing to expand the definition of which U.S. waterways can be regulated by the EPA, even though the existing framework has already resulted in a bevy of EPA orders and fines that fail the common-sense test.

“There has been an immense lack of clarity on what defines a water of the United States, and the process around permitting for the regulated community,” writes AFP Regulations Policy Analyst Abigale Tardif. “This has caused a great deal of confusion creating a sea of red tape for farmers, ranchers, developers, and millions of hardworking Americans.”

The Supreme Court case providing a backdrop to the push for more EPA power is a case study in federal overreach. For more than 15 years, Michael and Chantell Sackett have sought to build a home on their property near Priest Lake, Idaho. They were poised to break ground with all the needed state and local permits in hand. That’s when the EPA stepped in with not only an order that the property was to be left “untouched” pending further study, but also threatened a $75,000-per-day fine if the Sacketts failed to comply.

They have been locked in litigation ever since. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear further arguments in Michael Sackett v. EPA that could result in a decision changing any new agency rules.

AFP joins organizations and activists in all 50 states opposing any further EPA action prior to the Supreme Court’s consideration of the matter. “Moving forward…ahead of the Supreme Court decision will only cause more confusion and result in further revisions after the case is heard,” Tardif writes.

Click here to view the full comments submitted by AFP to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

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