Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule yesterday which would establish federal regulatory jurisdiction over non-navigable streams, wetlands and other water resources. Currently, non-navigable waters are regulated by the states.
“Like many people who have watched this issue carefully, I’m very concerned about this proposed rule. Most farmers and ranchers I talk to are scared to death about the possibility that the Environmental Protection Agency would be able to regulate their irrigation ditches, drainage ponds, and even groundwater, and I understand why,” said Simpson. “In the West, water is critical to our way of life. Allowing the federal government to claim jurisdiction over state waters would have a devastating impact on rural communities throughout our state and the food supply throughout our nation. For that reason and others, I have included language in the FY14 House Interior Appropriations bill that will prevent any attempt by the EPA to claim additional jurisdiction over state waters and increase its already excessive authority over Western farmers, families, and businesses.”