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Lawmakers target EPA’s water regs
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:45

By Timothy Cama – The Hill – July 16, 2014

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed two bills Wednesday aimed at undercutting the way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates water pollution. One of the bills would give states more authority over water pollution permits and state permitting rules, while the other would block the agency’s joint proposal with the Army Corps of Engineers to redefine which waters it has jurisdiction over per the Clean Water Act. For full story, click here.

Study: 100-Foot Wide Forest Keeps Streams Healthy
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:41

Contact: Beverly M. Payton – Stroud Water Research Center – June 17, 2014

Streamside forest buffers, long considered a best management practice, should be at least 100 feet wide on each side to adequately protect freshwater ecosystems from human activities according to an extensive scientific literature review published in the June issue of Journal of American Water Resources Association“That’s a lot. We know it’s a lot. But this is what the science is saying, and the reward for a wide forest buffer is huge,” said study author Bernard W. Sweeney, Ph.D., director of the Stroud Water Research Center. While the environmental benefits of streamside forest buffers have been known for decades, there was no consensus about how wide an effective forest buffer should be, until now. For full story, click here.

U.S. House committee considers reigning in EPA's CWA Power Grab
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 00:00

By Dorothy Kosich – Mineweb – July 16, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s unabashed power grab under the auspices of the Clean Water Act has got the business sector, regulators and legal experts alarmed and seeking remedies from the legislative branch, specifically, the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment. As Richard O. Faulk, senior director, Initiative for Energy and the Environment of the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia, observed during a hearing before the subcommittee Tuesday, “I believe there is an urgent need for a comprehensive inquiry into whether the current statutory structure authorizes – or can be construed to authorize — abusive retrospective and prospective vetoes of legitimate business activities." For full story, click here.

House Hearing on EPA’s Expanded Interpretation of its Permit Veto Authority Under the Clean Water Act
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 00:00

Contact: Jim Billimoria – Transportation & Infrastructure Committee – July 15, 2014 – Video

On July 15, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on EPA's application of its 404C veto authority under the Clean Water Act.  A recording of the hearing as well as testimony from the Witnesses is available. To read more about the hearing or to view video, click here.

'I'm going to get this right,' McCarthy says of muddled water rule
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:59

By Annie Snider – E & E Publishing, LLC – July 11, 2014

After weeks of Capitol Hill assaults on a controversial Obama administration water proposal, U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy toured Missouri farm country this week, asking everyone she met: Tell us how to fix it. In an interview with Greenwire before her speech to the Kansas City Agribusiness Council yesterday, McCarthy acknowledged that the rule's rollout to farmers and agribusiness has been rough. She committed to doing what it takes to make farmers and ranchers comfortable with the rule proposal, dubbed "Waters of the United States," which is aimed at clearing up years of confusion over which streams and wetlands are federally regulated. Stirring up the most trouble has been the "interpretive rule." Intended to explain the water proposal to farmers and ranchers, the interpretive rule has confused almost everyone. McCarthy was asked if she'd been thinking about withdrawing it. For full story, click here.

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