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What’s Up with WOTUS?

The House Rules Committee has determined the rules for upcoming House Floor debate on HR 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which would require that the Secretary of the Army and EPA Administrator withdraw the proposed rule relating to definitions of ‘Waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act.  The measure goes on to require the two agencies to start a new comment period, consult state and local governments as well as affected industries, and draft a new proposal.  Further, the agencies must use existing funds to carry out any new rulemaking.
The Rules Committee also determined that two proposed amendments would be included under the one hour of Floor debate on the legislation.  The first from Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), would prohibit the two agencies from finalizing the proposed rule released last year; the second, offered by Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) would allow states to have two years to comply with a final waters of the US rule.
No date has been set, as yet, for when the legislation will be taken up on the Floor of the House.  In a separate but related action, the House FY 16 Energy & Water appropriations bill includes a policy rider to permanently block EPA from using funding for any change to jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.
Over in the Senate, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) planned to introduce new legislation to restrict EPA oversight of puddles, roadside ditches, irrigation ditches, and storm and wastewater systems.