The proposed language (Section 1747 of the Bill) would limit the Administration's ability to clarify and restore the interpretation of "waters of the United States" to the meaning originally intended by Congress in the Clean Water Act. The Section 1747 language states in full that, "None of the funds made available by this division or any other Act may be used by the Environmental Protection Agency to implement, administer, or enforce a change to a rule or guidance document pertaining to the definition of waters under the jurisdiction of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)."
Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY-21st) and James Moran (D-VA-8th) have introduced amendments that would remove section 1747 from the Continuing Resolution. Neither amendment has been voted on yet by the House.
In stating in 1972 that the Clean Water Act covers the “waters of the United States,” Congress expressed its intent that the term “waters of the United States” “be given the broadest possible constitutional interpretation.” The resulting USEPA and Army Corps of Engineers regulations implementing the Act's provisions reflected that congressional intent by covering, among other waters:
- tributaries of various waters,
- adjacent wetlands, and
- intrastate waters with linkages to interstate commerce.