Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014

Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014

On the 19th of June, Sen. John Barrasso, of Wyoming, introduced a bill that was titled “Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014”. This bill currently has 35 co-sponsors, which are:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN), Sen. Roy Blunt (MO), Sen. John Boozman (AR), Sen. Richard Burr (NC), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA), Sen. Daniel Coats (IN), Sen. Tom Coburn (OK), Sen. Thad Cochran (MS), Sen. John Cornyn (TX), Sen. Mike Crapo (ID), Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), Sen. Michael Enzi (WY), Sen. Deb Fischer (NE), Sen. Jeff Flake (AZ), Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA), Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT), Sen. Dean Heller (NV), Sen. John Hoeven (ND), Sen. James Inhofe (OK), Sen. Johnny Isakson (GA), Sen. Mike Johanns (NE), Sen. Mike Lee (UT), Sen. John McCain (AZ), Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY), Sen. Jerry Moran (KS), Sen. Rand Paul (KY), Sen. James Risch (ID), Sen. Pat Roberts (KS), Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), Sen. Tim Scott (SC), Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL), Sen. John Thune (SD), Sen. Pat Toomey (PA), Sen. David Vitter (LA), and Sen. Roger Wicker (MS).

So far it has been read twice and sent to the committee on Enviornment and Public Works, wherre it remains today.

Here is the text of the bill and the rule as printed in the Federal Register.

S.2496 — Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 19, 2014

To preserve existing rights and responsibilities with respect to waters of the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the `Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014′.

Identification of waters protected by the Clean Water Act

(a) In General- Neither the Secretary of the Army nor the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall–

(1) finalize the proposed rule entitled `Definition of `Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act’ (see below); or

(2) use the proposed rule above, or any substantially similar proposed rule or guidance, as the basis for any rulemaking or any decision regarding the scope or enforcement of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

(b) Rules- The use of the proposed rule described in subsection (a)(1), or any substantially similar proposed rule or guidance, as the basis for any rulemaking or any decision regarding the scope or enforcement of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act shall be grounds for vacation of the final rule, decision, or enforcement action.

The proposed rule by the Eviornmental Protection Agency

The agencies propose to define the “waters of the United States” for all sections of the Clean Water Act to mean:

All waters which are currently used, were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide;

All interstate waters, including interstate wetlands;

The territorial seas;

All impoundments of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas or a tributary;

All tributaries of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas or impoundment;

All waters, including wetlands, adjacent to a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas, impoundment or tributary; and

On a case-specific basis, other waters, including wetlands, provided that those waters alone, or in combination with other similarly situated waters, including wetlands, located in the same region, have a significant nexus to a traditional navigable water, interstate water or the territorial seas.