03.24.15

Senator David Perdue Calls Waters of the United States Rule “Blatant Government Overreach”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today highlighted his opposition to the proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would drastically redefine, which waters are subjected to regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act.

“The EPA’s proposed rule is nothing short of blatant government overreach and I have serious concerns about the consequences it could have for Georgia,” said Senator Perdue. “Georgians are fed up with Washington because of burdensome rules and regulations that negatively impact our farmers, small businesses, and private citizens.

“Thousands of Georgia farmers, including Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and many Georgia Farm Bureau members, have already voiced their disapproval. I share their concerns since this rule would give Washington authority over virtually any low place that can form a puddle. We have seen a grassroots effort to defeat this rule because of the negative impact it would have on our communities. For example, in Gwinnett County, nearly 3,000 miles of roads, 1,500 miles of streams, and 1,400 miles of drainage ditches would be impacted.

“The EPA should completely rescind this rule, and instead work to help our agricultural community grow and thrive.”

Background:

On April 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule to redefine the regulatory term “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. This proposed rule, if finalized, would significantly expand federal authority under the Clean Water Act beyond that intended by Congress.

The comment period was extended twice and finally ended on November 14, 2014. There were over one million comments submitted nationwide. Georgia Farm Bureau members submitted 15,558 comments calling for the withdrawal of the proposed rule. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said the agency is moving toward finalization.