House Approves Southerland Bill to Preserve Clean Water Partnership

Press Release

Date: Sept. 9, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, II applauded House approval today of legislation he introduced prohibiting Washington agencies from disrupting the federal-state partnership that has successfully improved water quality for more than 40 years. Southerland's Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078), which passed the House with the votes of 35 House Democrats, prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing a new rule that would expand federal regulatory authority at the expense of states.

"I am pleased that the House has acted in a strongly bipartisan fashion to protect the successful federal-state partnership that's been making our waterways cleaner for over 40 years. This bill isn't anti-environment or anti-clean water. In fact, it's just the opposite. By preserving this federal-state partnership under the Clean Water Act, we will be able to build upon success stories of the past to keep our waters cleaner in the future. And at a time when hardworking families are struggling to get ahead, we've taken an important step forward in restoring the certainty our farmers, manufacturers, and construction and transportation industries need to grow America's economy."

H.R. 5078 would:

* Prohibit the EPA and the Army Corps from implementing a proposed rule expanding federal regulatory authority over bodies of water currently managed by or jointly with the states

* Prohibit an additional "interpretive rule" that limits existing exemptions for agriculture conservation practices

* Require federal agencies to consult with state and local officials to identify which waters should be federally regulated and which should be left to the states