Representative Steve Daines today joined a strong bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives to pass legislation that protects Montanans from a proposed rule giving Washington bureaucrats jurisdiction over a greatly expanded amount of water and land --in turn, threatening jobs and property rights.
The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078) prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from redefining "Waters of the United States" and, therefore, greatly expanding their power to regulate virtually every body of water in the country.
"When the EPA proposed this regulation, they tried to tell us, "If you like your waters, you can keep your waters.' Montanans aren't falling for that one. Redefining 'Waters of the United States' as the EPA proposed to do would place virtually limitless water sources under federal jurisdiction," Daines said. "This federal regulatory overreach would threaten private property rights, increase the regulatory burden on Montana farms and small businesses, and hinder economic growth. Montanans know the importance of protecting our state's land, water and resources. We don't need federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. regulating every pond, puddle and ditch in our state."
"The passage of H.R. 5078 is a very positive step for farmers, ranchers, landowners, and anyone else who uses land and water. We thank Montana Congressman Steve Daines and others who voted in favor of the bill, for their support on this extremely important issue. We hope to see it sail quickly through the Senate and become the law of the land," Nicole Rolf, Director of National Affairs for the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, said.
A broad coalition of Montana groups representing farmers, ranchers, realtors, builders and contractors, came together to oppose to the EPA's proposal to drastically expand their own reach and regulatory power.
"If this proposed rule is implemented, it will have serious and adverse effects on agriculture which Montana's number one industry, many other large and small businesses, as well as individual landowners, homeowners, and anyone else who uses water or the land surrounding water. Consequently, we believe this rule is of concern to all Montanans," the Montana stakeholder group said.