Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Letter to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army of Civil Works - Clean Water Act Program

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson
Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy
Assistant Secretary of the Army of Civil Works
108 Army Pentagon Room 3E446
Washington, DC 20310-0108

Dear Administrator Jackson and Assistant Secretary Darcy:

In December 2010, The Environmental Protection Agency and Corps of Engineers (collectively, the "agencies") sent draft "Clean Water Protection Guidance" to the Office of Management and Budget for regulatory review. The intent of the document is to describe how the Agencies will identify waters subject to jurisdiction under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (more commonly known as the "Clean Water Act") and implement the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Solid Wast Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (SWANCC) and United States v. Rapanos (Rapanos) concerning the extent of waters covered by the Act. Further, this document would supersede guidance that the Agnecies previously issued in 2003 and 2008 on determining the scope of "waters of the United States" subject to Clean Water Act programs.

In our view, this "Guidance" goes beyond clarifying the scope of "waters of the United States" subject to Clean Water Act programs. Rather, it is aimed, as even the Agencies acknowledge, at "increas[ing] significantly" the scope of the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction over more waters and more provisions of the Clean Water Act as compared to practices under the currently applicable 2003 and 2008 guidance. ("Guidance," at 1.)

It appears that the Agencies intend to expand the applicability of this "Guidance" beyond section 404 to all other Clean Water Act provisions that use the term "waters of the United States," including section 402, 401, 311, and 303. Moreover, the Agencies intend to "alleviate the need to develop extensive administrative records for certain jurisdictional determinations" ("Guidance," at 1), thereby shifting the burden of proving jurisdictional status of a "water" from the Agencies to the regulated community, and thus making the provisions of this "Guidance" binding on the regulated community.

In light of the substantive changes in policy that the Administration is considering with this "Guidance," we are extremely concerned that this "Guidance" amounts to a de facto rule instead of mere advisory guidelines. Additionally, we fear that this "Guidance" is an attempt to short-circuit the process for changing agency policy, transparent rulemaking process that is dictated by the Administrative Procedure Act.

This "Guidance" would substantively change the Agencies' policy on waters subject to jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act; undermine the regulated community's right and obligations under the Clean Water Act; and erode the Federal-State partnership that has long existed between the States and the Federal Government in implementing the Clean Water Act. By developing this "Guidance," the Agencies have ignored calls from state agencies and environmental groups, among others, to proceed through the normal rulemaking procedures, and have avoided consulting with the States, which are the Agencies' partners in implementing the Clean Water Act.

The Agencies cannot, through guidance, change the scope and meaning of the Clean Water Act or the statute's implementing regulations. If the Administration seeks statutory changes to the Clean Water Act, a proposal must be submitted to Congress for legislative action. If the Administration seeks to make regulatory changes, a notice and comment rulemaking is required.

We are very concerned by the action contemplated by the Agencies, and we strongly urge you to reconsider the proposed "Guidance."

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Bob Gibbs
Member of Congress

Tim Holden
Member of Congress

John Mica
Member of Congress

Nick Rahall
Member of Congress

Sanford Bishop
Member of Congress

David McKinley
Member of Congress

Mac Thornberry
Member of Congress

Walter Jones
Member of Congress

Jeff Landry
Member of Congress

John Carter
Member of Congress

Pete Olson
Member of Congress

Wally Herger
Member of Congress

Raul Labrador
Member of Congress

Michael Conaway
Member of Congress

James Lankford
Member of Congress

Jeff Flake
Member of Congress

Shelley Moore Capito
Member of Congress

Gary Miller
Member of Congress

Brett Guthrie
Member of Congress

Don Young
Member of Congress

Greg Walden
Member of Congress

Hal Rogers
Member of Congress

Jeff Denham
Member of Congress

Reid Ribble
Member of Congress

Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Member of Congress

Mike Rogers (AL)
Member of Congress

Dennis Cardoza
Member of Congress

Rodney Alexander
Member of Congress

Paul Gosar
Member of Congress

Glenn Thompson
Member of Congress

Steve King
Member of Congress

Francisco Canseco
Member of Congress

Sam Graves
Member of Congress

Bill Shuster
Member of Congress

Tim Murphy
Member of Congress

Chip Cravaack
Member of Congress

Collin Peterson
Member of Congress

Ed Whitfield
Member of Congress

Steve Womack
Member of Congress

Bill Johnson
Member of Congress

Rick Crawford
Member of Congress

Mike Simpson
Member of Congress

Tom Marino
Member of Congress

Rob Bishop
Member of Congress

Stephen Fincher
Member of Congress

Lynn Westmoreland
Member of Congress

Frank Lucas
Member of Congress

Billy Long
Member of Congress

Adam Kinzinger
Member of Congress

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

Tom Cole
Member of Congress

Bob Latta
Member of Congress

Austin Scott
Member of Congress

Spencer Bachus
Member of Congress

Blaine Luetkemeyer
Member of Congress

Cory Gardner
Member of Congress

Adrian Smith
Member of Congress

John Shimkus
Member of Congress

Kristi Noem
Member of Congress

Leonard Boswell
Member of Congress

Jim Renacci
Member of Congress

Renee Ellmers
Member of Congress

Kay Granger
Member of Congress

Heath Shuler
Member of Congress

Mike Coffman
Member of Congress

Jean Schmidt
Member of Congress

Howard Coble
Member of Congress

Lou Barletta
Member of Congress

Mike Ross
Member of Congress

John Culberson
Member of Congress

Stevan Pearce
Member of Congress

Todd Rokita
Member of Congress

Steve Chabot
Member of Congress

Jim Jordan
Member of Congress

Scott DesJarlais
Member of Congress

Frank Wolf
Member of Congress

Geoff Davis
Member of Congress

Steve Austria
Member of Congress

Shelley Berkley
Member of Congress

Tom Latham
Member of Congress

Steve Stivers
Member of Congress

Duncan Hunter
Member of Congress

Vicky Hartzler
Member of Congress

Martha Roby
Member of Congress

Lamar Smith
Member of Congress

Mo Brooks
Member of Congress

Steve Southerland
Member of Congress

Charles Dent
Member of Congress

Jim Costa
Member of Congress

Terri Sewell
Member of Congress

Tom Rooney
Member of Congress

John Barrow
Member of Congress

Jo Ann Emerson
Member of Congress

Todd Platts
Member of Congress

Charles Boustany
Member of Congress

Roscoe Bartlett
Member of Congress

Robert Aderholt
Member of Congress

Lynn Jenkins
Member of Congress

Cynthia Lummis
Member of Congress

Pat Tiberi
Member of Congress

Mark Critz
Member of Congress

Lee Terry
Member of Congress

Alan Nunnelee
Member of Congress

Tim Griffin
Member of Congress

Randy Neugebauer
Member of Congress

Dan Boren
Member of Congress

Larry Bucshon
Member of Congress

Devin Nunes
Member of Congress

Diane Black
Member of Congress

Doc Hastings
Member of Congress

Phil Roe
Member of Congress

Scott Tipton
Member of Congress

Sean Duffy
Member of Congress

Jason Altmire
Member of Congress

Jim Matheson
Member of Congress

Bobby Schilling
Member of Congress

Mike Pompeo
Member of Congress

Randy Hultgren
Member of Congress

Chuck Fleischmann
Member of Congress

C.W. Bill Young
Member of Congress

Steve LaTourette
Member of Congress

Tom McClintock
Member of Congress

Phil Gingrey
Member of Congress

Ben Chandler
Member of Congress

Rich Nugent
Member of Congress

Jeff Miller
Member of Congress

David Rivera
Member of Congress

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Member of Congress

Todd Young
Member of Congress

David Schweikert
Member of Congress

Brian Bilbray
Member of Congress

David Scott
Member of Congress

Doug Lamborn
Member of Congress

Jerry Costello
Member of Congress

Marsha Blackburn
Member of Congress

Dean Heller
Member of Congress

Kenny Marchant
Member of Congress

Ken Calvert
Member of Congress

Joe Wilson
Member of Congress

Mike McIntyre
Member of Congress

John Sullivan
Member of Congress

Bill Posey
Member of Congress

Bill Flores
Member of Congress

Denny Rehberg
Member of Congress

Candice Miller
Member of Congress

Erik Paulsen
Member of Congress

Steven Palazzo
Member of Congress

Bill Owens
Member of Congress

Michael Turner
Member of Congress

Ralph Hall
Member of Congress

Sandy Adams
Member of Congress

Ann Marie Buerkle
Member of Congress

Dan Benishek
Member of Congress

Robert Hurt
Member of Congress

Bill Cassidy
Member of Congress

Patrick McHenry
Member of Congress

Aaron Schock
Member of Congress

Bob Goodlatte
Member of Congress

John Kline
Member of Congress

Tom Reed
Member of Congress

Mario Diaz-Balart
Member of Congress

Jeff Duncan
Member of Congress

John J Duncan Jr.
Member of Congress

Blake Farenthold
Member of Congress

Buck McKeon
Member of Congress

Richard Hanna
Member of Congress

Ben Quayle
Member of Congress

Joe Donnelly
Member of Congress

Larry Kissell
Member of Congress

Steve Scalise
Member of Congress


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top