Shuster, Gibbs lead U.S. House in filing WOTUS Rule amicus brief, call on court to block EPA power grab

U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) joined members of the U.S. House and Senate November 8 in filing an amicus brief to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to vacate the administration’s final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that significantly broadens federal regulatory power under the Clean Water Act.

Sixty-seven members of Congress and 21 senators signed the amicus brief filed in support of 31 states and 12 municipal and industry petitioners in the case In Re: Environmental Protection Agency and Department Of Defense, Final Rule: Clean Water Rule: Definition Of “Waters Of The United States.”

“The administration and an overzealous EPA steamrolled the rulemaking process in order to bring this preconceived and predetermined rule forward without regard to numerous, valid concerns from states, local authorities and private citizens,” said Shuster. “This expansive new definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ is an unlawful attempt to federally regulate both land and water that Congress deliberately left to the authority of states. I commend Chairman Gibbs for his leadership on this issue and in filing this amicus brief, and I strongly urge the court to bring an end to this terribly flawed rule.”

“I want to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle and both chambers who joined us on this amicus brief,” Gibbs said. “The Clean Water Act was written as a partnership with the states. This WOTUS Rule has the potential to affect hardworking farmers and ranchers and erode that federal-state partnership. We have led Congressional disapproval of the WOTUS rule, we have seen this lawsuit brought by 31 states and WOTUS has been opposed by property rights advocates. Despite all of this, the Obama administration continues to defend the flawed rule, even after the revelation that EPA broke the law in promoting it. EPA’s WOTUS rule is an excessive expansion of federal authority with no return on water quality improvements. It is time for the EPA to begin treating the states as partners rather than adversaries.”

A copy of the brief can be found here.

Maritime Editorial