Wednesday, August 1, 2012

UPDATED: House Committee Passes Three Controversial Bills Limiting EPA Powers

UPDATE: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday approved the three bills discussed in an earlier blog posting below. The bills would limit the U.S. EPA's regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will meet on Wednesday to consider three bills it deferred from considering last week, following complaints by Democratic Committee members that they had not had ample time to read the bills. The bills included two that would limit the U.S. EPA's Clean Water Act powers relating to logging road runoff and wetland delineation, and one limiting EPA's ability to conduct farm flyovers. A fourth bill will also be considered. That one is H.R. 5806, the "Outreach to People with Disabilities During Emergencies Act." The Committee meeting web site is here (where you can link to each of the bills and watch a live, streaming webcast of the mark-up meeting).

The three bills to be considered today are:
  • H.R. 4278, cosponsored by Reps. Robert Hurt (R-VA) and Jason Altmire (D-PA), which would eliminate limits on the regulatory exemptions provided in the Clean Water Act for agricultural activities. 
  • H.R. 2541, sponsored by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), which would prohibit the EPA from requiring a water pollution permit for silviculture.
  • H.R. 5961, sponsored by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), which would amend the Clean Water Act to prohibit the EPA from conducting aerial surveillance of farmland without voluntary written consent, public notice and a certification of reasonable suspicion that a violation has occurred.

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