The FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations bill is currently under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. Many amendments are being offered, including Amendment #1 by Representative James Moran (D-VA). This amendment would alter the language in the bill that protects the authority of states by preventing the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding its regulation to include intrastate bodies of water under the Clean Water Act for any reason other than drinking water uses. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson spoke on the House Floor against the amendment and encouraged colleagues to vote against it. While the entire bill is still under consideration, the amendment was defeated with a final vote of 177-236.
“In 2006, the Supreme Court determined that the EPA and the Corps of Engineers did not have the authority to regulate non-navigable waters under the Clean Water Act,” said Simpson. “Deciding how water is used should be the responsibility of state and local officials who are familiar with the people and local issues. If all intrastate waters are regulated by the federal government, the language could be broadly interpreted to include everything within a state, including groundwater.”
To watch Congressman Simpson floor speech opposing the amendment, visit his YouTube page.