WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 13, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) to protect private water rights from burdensome federal regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army Corps) controversial ‘waters of the US’ rule. The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732), which passed last evening, would prohibit the EPA and Army Corps from implementing the proposed rule which redefines “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act to include bodies of all sizes and flows—virtually every form of surface water. View the full draft EPA rule HERE.
The EPA has been unable to clarify the scope of the ‘waters of the US’ rule. Last year, Tipton asked EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe during a House Small Business Committee hearing to clarify exactly what water resources would be covered under the proposed rule. Perciasepe failed to clearly define what water would be impacted, adding to widespread concerns that the EPA is moving toward a massive federal water grab through expanded regulatory reach over virtually every form of surface water.
“This Administration has developed a notorious reputation in the West for its steady erosion of private property rights and restricted access to public lands and resources,” said Tipton. “Today the House struck a powerful blow against one of the most egregious cases of the federal government attempting to interfere with or take the water rights countless Americans rely on for their livelihoods and for the well-being of their communities.”
Tipton has led the charge in the House to protect private water rights from federal takings and interference. Tipton’s Water Rights Protection Act passed the House with bipartisan support in the 113th Congress and has been reintroduced in the 114th Congress in both chambers (H.R. 1830).