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Final 9-25-16 Delaware

Local Republicans sound off on new EPA regulations

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Local Republicans sound off on new EPA regulations

ST. LOUIS (KTRS) — Area Republican legislators are fighting back at new regulations aimed at protecting drinking water. The White House said the rules would provide much-needed clarity for landowners, but some Republicans and farm groups said they go much too far. House Speaker John Boehner declared they would send “landowners, small businesses, farmers, and […]

Local Republicans sound off on new EPA regulations

ST. LOUIS (KTRS) — Area Republican legislators are fighting back at new regulations aimed at protecting drinking water.

The White House said the rules would provide much-needed clarity for landowners, but some Republicans and farm groups said they go much too far. House Speaker John Boehner declared they would send “landowners, small businesses, farmers, and manufacturers on the road to a regulatory and economic hell.”

The rules, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are designed to clarify which smaller waterways fall under federal protection after two Supreme Court rulings had left the reach of the Clean Water Act uncertain. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the waters affected would be those with a “direct and significant” connection to larger bodies of water downstream that are already protected.

The rules face deep opposition from the Republican-led Congress and farmers concerned that every stream, ditch and puddle on their private land could now be subject to federal oversight. The House voted to block the regulations earlier this month, and a similar effort is underway in the Senate.

House Speaker Boehner called the rules “a raw and tyrannical power grab,” something area members of Congress echoed Wednesday.

“In true bureaucratic fashion, the Environmental Protection Agency and Obama Administration just created more problems than solutions for hardworking farmers across our country,” Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin) said in a statement.
“The White House says the only people who have a reason to oppose this disastrous rule are ‘polluters who knowingly threaten our clean water,” said Illinois Congressman John Shimkus, (R-Collinsville). “Well they should tell that to the hardworking farmers and struggling small business owners in my district who see right through this EPA power grab; they should tell it to the state and local governments who spoke out against this federal overreach; and they should tell it to their own Small Business Administration, who urged EPA and the Corp to withdraw the rule last year,” he said in a statement.
Both representatives urged the Senate to block the new EPA rules.
“I’m working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to block the EPA’s massive takeover of private and state waters,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) in a statement.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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