Congressional bills include WOTUS block

By |  June 21, 2016
Photo credit: Ron Cogswell via Fair / CC BY

Two new congressional bills have implications on the WOTUS rule. Photo credit: Ron Cogswell via Fair / CC BY

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would block the implementation of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) reports.

According to NSSGA, the 2017 Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Appropriations Bill would cut $125 million from current fiscal-2016 levels and is $1.1 billion less than the White House originally sought.

In addition, NSSGA reports the House Appropriations Committee marked up a bill that includes a rider against WOTUS. The House bill is funded at $32.1 billion and would cut $64 million from current spending levels, including a $164 million cut to EPA.

“NSSGA is pleased to see that Senate and House appropriators recognize the importance of stopping the WOTUS regulation,” says Pam Whitted, NSSGA senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs. “We hope Congress will keep this important rider attached as the appropriations process moves forward. Our industry believes Congress needs to intervene to stop EPA’s rule that would unlawfully increase federal jurisdiction and costs for aggregates operations and their customers.”

The WOTUS rule is currently under a judicial stay preventing implementation, according to NSSGA. Although the appropriate venue for pending lawsuits against EPA to be heard has not been finally determined, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has published a briefing schedule on the merits of the case that will begin in the fall and extend into early 2017.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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