House Energy & Water Appropriators Speak to “Navigable Waters”

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Energy & Water Subcommittee approved language that would prevent the use of any funds for the Corps of Engineers to finalize guidance related to the definition of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. The Corps and the EPA issued joint guidance in May 2011 to identify waters that qualify for regulation under the statute, which is now awaiting review at the Office of Management and Budget. The interesting point is that the clarifying language appears in the FY 13 Energy Department appropriations bill. The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees EPA funding is expected to add similar “clarifying” language to its FY 13 funding measure.