WASHINGTON, D.C.–Many people in Mississippi who own property have been concerned about the possibility that the Environmental Protection Agency would be able to regulate your pond, stormwater, groundwater, agricultural water or other water on your property under the “Clean Water Act”. Wednesday a new bill in the U.S. Senate made it out of committee that would prevent that.
The “Federal Water Quality Protection Act” would exempt those kinds of water and your municipal water supply and waste management from EPA control and would force the EPA to write a new rule before the end of next year.
“This important bill would put the brakes on the Administration’s plan to reinterpret the ‘Clean Water Act’ in ways never intended by Congress,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who voted for the new act. “The rule would impose burdensome federal requirements on private property owners, small businesses, and farmers. It would also take a significant toll on economic growth and pose major challenges for local officials – while failing to provide any clear environmental benefits.”
The bill made it out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works by a vote of 11-9. Wicker is a co-sponsor.
The legislation also encourages EPA and the Army Corps to regulate streams that actually carry pollutants to navigable water, as well as wetlands that filter pollutants. It would implement a rulemaking process with guiding principles to ensure that the agencies can protect water quality without encroaching on private property rights.
The agencies issued the final rule on May 27 despite widespread concerns from state and local governments, farmers, small business owners, and landowners, said a news release from Wicker’s camp.
The final rule could have far-reaching implications for Mississippi’s 10 major river basins and 86,000 miles of streams.