Hoeven: Small Business Administration Recommends EPA Withdraw Waters of the U.S. Rule

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven said the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy has recommended that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdraw the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. The Office of Advocacy, an independent voice for small businesses, said the EPA and Corps used an incorrect data for determining their obligations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and that it will impose costs directly on small businesses and have a significant economic impact on them.

“The SBA’s Office of Advocacy recommendation underscores the need to rescind the Waters of the U.S. rule, not just for its impact on farmers, ranchers and others industries, but also on small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the American economy,” Hoeven said. “The rule will not only violate private property rights, but also hurt our broader economy.”

The recommendation came in filed public comments with the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA in response to the proposed rule “Definition of Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act.

Hoeven is leading the effort in the Senate Appropriations Committee to include language in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill to prevent the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from using funding to implement the new rule in Fiscal Year 2015.

A second approach would be to rescind the rule with legislation. Hoeven is cosponsoring and pushing to pass the Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014, legislation that would prevent the EPA and the Corps from finalizing its March 2014 proposed rule, which would expand federal authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps released a proposed rule that includes broad new definitions of the scope of “waters of the United States” that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. The proposed definition could apply to a countless number of small wetlands, creeks, stock ponds and ditches that are typically regulated at a state level. The entire letter from the Office of Advocacy can be seen here.