House Votes For Resolution That Would Protect Farmers From EPA Overreach

Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-03) voted in favor of HR 1732 in response to the EPA’s new proposed rule that would allow them to regulate man-made ponds, ditches, and other water areas usurping local and state environmental regulations. The regulations could potentially affect farmers and the agriculture industry. The resolution would require both the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers to withdraw the new regulation and propose new rules that would consider both local and state regulatory interests. From a presser released from Congressman Westmoreland’s office:

Last night, Congressman Lynn Westmoreland voted in support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, to protect Georgia farmers from proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). H.R. 1732 upholds the integrity of the federal-state partnership to regulate our nation’s waters by preserving existing rights and responsibilities with respect to “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.

“The EPA is constantly trying to bypass state and local governments, when they are the ones that know the land and water sources the best,” stated Westmoreland. “I’ve spoken to farmers across the Third District and the state of Georgia, and this overreach onto their property is a huge concern to them. We’ve seen the EPA regulating outside its authority time and time again, and we will continue to fight to put an end to it.”

Under the EPA’s proposed rule, the Clean Water Act could regulate waters in ditches, man-made ponds, floodplains, streams, and seasonally-wet areas – burdening and even threatening jobs in the agricultural industry. The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act gives the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers 30 days to withdraw the current proposed rule and requires them to develop a new proposed rule that must take into consideration local and state concerns.

“The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act requires the federal government to work with state and local communities to find a solution that best fits their needs. By restoring trust, transparency, and integrity to the decision making process, we can find a solution that protects both our water and our jobs, and isn’t just in the interest of Washington bureaucrats – but for the farmers and hard-working Americans who provide for our nation.”