Several of those riders are of interest to Mississippi River Basin natural resource advocates. The bill coming out of the House Appropriations Committee would delay the Fish and Wildlife Service's listing rule for the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act until October 2016, blocked the EPA from changing the definition of fill material under the Clean Water Act, and halted EPA's final rule clarifying the scope of water bodies in the United States that receive protection under the Clean Water Act (known as the Waters of the United States rule). Additional amendments related to policy relevant to Mississippi River Basin natural resources were considered during the floor debate earlier this week. They are summarized below (The House maintains a full listing of all amendments proposed for this spending bill, and their disposition, here).
Amendments approved by voice vote (and links to those amendments):
- An amendment sponsored by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) of Kansas to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from spending money to implement or enforce the threatened species listing of the lesser prairies chicken.
- An amendment sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R) of Pennsylvania to prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from treating the threatened northern long-eared bat as endangered.
- An amendment sponsored by Rep. Todd Rokita (R) of Indiana to bar the Fish and Wildlife Service from enforcing the Endangered Species Act for the Clubshell, Fanshell, Rabbitsfoot, Rayed Bean, Sheepnose or Snuffbox freshwater mussels.
- An amendment sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg (R) of Michigan to prohibit funds from being used by the EPA to lobby on behalf of the Waters of the U.S. rule.
- An amendment sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R) of Pennsylvania to prohibit the Department of Interior from using drones for mapping that could be done by the private sector.
- An amendment offered by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R) of Washington to block any potential efforts by EPA to issue new rules for livestock facilities under the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act.
- An amendment offered by Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D) of Michigan to strike the bill provision that would halt EPA's Waters of the U.S. final rule.
- An amendment offered by Rep. Don Beyer (D) of Virginia to strike a bill provision blocking the administration from changing the definition of fill material under the Clean Water Act.
- An amendment offered by Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) of Massachusetts to strike the bill provision delaying the Fish and Wildlife Service's listing rule for the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act until October 2016 (Rejected 186-243).
- An amendment offered by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) of Arizona to remove a bill provision that would prevent the EPA Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement from promulgating a stream protection rule due to be published in the coming weeks (Rejected 189-239).
- A vote has been requested but was not held on an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) of Virginia that would give states more leeway in implementing EPA's pollution cleanup plan (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay (see this story for background on the issue, which has national implications).