Despite a recent setback, Senate Republicans and a few Democrats say they are committed to passing a bill to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw a newly issued water rule and rewrite it to address concerns from construction and agricultural industries as well as landowners.
Senate supporters of such legislation were unable to garner enough votes on Nov. 3-4 to override a threatened presidential veto. But Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) isn’t giving up. He said in a statement, “I remain committed to bringing common-sense legislation back to the Senate floor to stop the rule in its tracks.”
EPA and the Corps on June 29 published the rule defining which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction. But on Oct. 9, a federal appeals court delayed the regulation from taking effect until lawsuits challenging the rule could be resolved. However, the agencies say the rule does not expand their permitting scope, as opponents claim.
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