Thursday, May 28, 2015

State officials weigh in on new EPA waters rule

After the EPA and the Obama Administration announced its final Waters of the United States rule Wednesday, state officials weighed in on the negative affects of the measure.
The rule will define which waterways fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act. U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito thought it was another example of the EPA overstepping its bounds.
“The final WOTUS rule announced today is deeply troubling,” Capito said in a statement. “Rather than incorporating input from Congress and concerned Americans, this rule doubles down on overreach and threatens to impede small businesses, agriculture, and coal and natural gas production.”
The West Virginia River coalition supported the new rule, noting that more than half of West Virginians drinking water is supplied by small streams protected under the rule.
“This is a good day for water drinkers, river users, and wildlife in West Virginia,” said Executive Director Angie Rosser. “Our state’s headwater streams supply the drinking water sources for millions of people; this rule is important for the health of our communities and everyone downstream.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin condemned the rule and urged action against it, saying it would negatively impact West Virginia’s economy.
“This rule will certainly have a significant impact on West Virginia’s economy, hindering businesses, manufacturing and energy production,” Manchin said. “The bottom line is that no federal agency should go around Congress to control what has not been legislated, especially when its actions will harm economic growth.”

U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins agreed, saying in a release that the rule was “another attempt by the federal government to impose more regulations on West Virginians.” He felt the EPA had no place imposing regulations on private lands.