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WOTUS Update

Expectations are strong that one of the first actions taken by the House when it returns next week will be consideration of HR 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act.  Introduced on July 11 by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL), the bill moved swiftly through the Chamber and was placed on the House Union Calendar on July 31.  The legislation prevents the Administration from finalizing plans to clarify the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.

The accompanying Report, HR 113-568, states that the purpose of the legislation is to preserve existing rights and responsibilities by prohibiting EPA and the Corps from “…developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing a proposed rule or guidance the Agencies have developed regarding the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.”  The bill also requires that Federal agencies consult with state and local officials to formulate recommendations for a “…regulatory proposal that would identify the scope of waters covered…and the scope of waters not covered under the Act.”

There is no Senate companion to this House measure.