Barletta Statement Regarding Obama EPA Power Grab

May 27, 2015
Press Release
Administration Overreaches, Undermines Clean Water Act Partnership

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding a move by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to radically expand federal authority over local waterways and wetlands.  The EPA has released a rule that broadly defines which bodies of water fall under control of Washington bureaucrats, rather than local and state officials.  The expansion of federal powers undercuts the long-standing relationship between the federal government and states established in 1972 by the Clean Water Act.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732), which would overturn the flawed Obama EPA rule.  Barletta is an original co-sponsor of the bill because of the impact of the rule on Pennsylvania.  The Senate has yet to act on the legislation.

Barletta’s statement is as follows:

“For more than four decades, the Clean Water Act has worked as a strong partnership between the federal government and the states, and all this EPA rule does is undermine that relationship.  The new definition of federal waters would force property owners to prove that large mud puddles and ditches on their property shouldn’t be federally regulated.  I have been speaking with local farmers, land owners, and employers in my district, and they know they will now be facing higher legal fees, increased costs for doing business, and pressure to reduce hiring.  Some say the EPA rule could run them out of business.

“This is a power grab by the federal government, plain and simple.  One thing the federal bureaucrats must be made to understand is that sometimes a mud puddle is just a mud puddle.”