GOP lawmakers push EPA to ax proposed water rule amid outcry from farmers

by
April 4, 2014

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers are pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider asserting regulatory authority over streams and wetlands amid intense backlash from farm groups over the agency’s proposed water rule.

In a letter Thursday, the GOP senators faulted the EPA for announcing a proposed rule last week before the government’s peer-reviewed scientific assessment was fully complete. They are calling on the government to withdraw the rule or give the public six months to review it, rather than the three months being provided.

The senators’ move puts them among several groups — from farmers and land developers to Western governors worried about drought management — in expressing concern about a long-running and heavily litigated environmental issue involving the Clean Water Act that has invoked economic interests, states’ rights and presidential power.

The letter was led by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and signed by 14 other GOP senators.

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