NSSGA asks EPA to withdraw waters-rule proposal

By |  November 14, 2014

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider its proposal to radically expand the scope of federal authority over water and land uses across the United States. According to NSSGA, aggregates producers argue that the policy change is unjustifiable and the cost to the American taxpayer and industry would far outweigh any benefit.

“At a time when Americans are concerned about our crumbling infrastructure, it is unbelievable that the EPA seeks to make an unwarranted rule change that dramatically impacts the cost of aggregates and the products that they go into – like highways, roads and bridges,” says Paul Detwiler III, NSSGA chairman and president of New Enterprise Stone & Lime. “Ultimately, these increased costs are borne by the taxpayers yet there is little, if any, benefit from the rule.”

In its final comments on the rule, NSSGA says the federal government’s attempt to seek authority over areas that have little or no connection to flowing streams and rivers is confusing and unnecessary.

“The proposed rule is so sweeping that vast areas of the American landscape, including areas that are dry most of the year, would come under the agencies’ new authority,” says Mike Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO. “Expanding the definition of a ‘navigable’ waterway to include dry stream beds and areas that may not even be wet simply makes no sense.”

Johnson says EPA’s analysis shows that the rule expands federal jurisdiction from 3.5 million river and stream miles to more than 8 million miles.

According to NSSGA, it is not alone in this fight. The U.S. Small Business Administration, state and local governments and other trade associations representing a number of industries and interests are asking for the rule to be withdrawn, NSSGA adds.

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About the Author:

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

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