Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) joined his colleagues in passing H.R. 5078, the Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act.  This legislation prevents an expansion of regulations and federal jurisdiction by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers. 

In April, the Obama Administration proposed a rule to redefine our country’s waterways currently outlined in the Clean Water Act.  Under this proposed rule, all tributaries, adjacent waters and wetlands could fall under the new definition of federally-controlled waters.  With this new definition, these waters would inherit all of the bureaucratic rules, onerous regulations, and costly requirements this designation entails.  South Carolina farmers, landowners, and other small business owners would be particularly burdened by this new designation. 

“It is often said that the federal government lacks common-sense and the EPA’s proposed rule validates this claim,” said Congressman Rice.  “The regulatory-happy EPA proposed this rule so it could expand its authority and begin regulating more of our nation’s waterways and wetlands, even temporary bodies of water, such as ditches.  Farmers in my district have called my offices to express their concerns and urge me to stop this power grab.  I was proud to vote in favor of this legislation today on behalf my constituents and the Palmetto State’s farmers, landowners, and other small business owners.”