Regulatory Reform

ALEC Weighs in on Proposed “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

Earlier today, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) submitted a public comment expressing significant concerns with a proposed redefinition of “waters of the United States.” On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published the proposed rule defining the scope of water in the U.S. that would fall under the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

Over the last several years, the U.S. Supreme Court has on at least two occasions checked the federal government’s interpretation of the CWA as being too broad. This proposed rule was meant to take into account these rulings and to provide greater clarity as to where the federal government’s jurisdiction over water ended. Unfortunately, in their proposal, EPA and the Corps only exacerbate the ambiguity and uncertainty of what water resources the two agencies can regulate.

Earlier this year ALEC member legislators considered and passed the Resolution Regarding Clean Water Act Regulations of EPA’s Definition of “Waters of the U.S.” outlining many of their concerns with the proposed rule as written. The submitted comments as well as the resolution both identify states as co-regulators of water resources, call upon the agencies to withdraw the rule as proposed and to more fully consult with the states before adopting any new redefinition of the “waters of the United States.”

To read the comments submitted by ALEC, please click here.

To read more about the effects of this proposed regulation—as well as other EPA regulations—on state sovereignty, please read the ALEC publication titled, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty.


In Depth: Regulatory Reform

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that “the sum of good government” was one “which shall restrain men from injuring one another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry.” Sadly, governments – both federal and state – have ignored this axiom and…

+ Regulatory Reform In Depth