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House Votes to Thwart USEPA and Army Corps’ ‘Waters of the United States’ Rulemaking

On September 9, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill introduced in response to the ‘Waters of the United States’ Proposed Rule that was prepared jointly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and published in April 2014.  The bill, known as the “Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014” (H.R. 5078), would prohibit USEPA and USACE from “developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing” the proposed rule.  On September 8, the White House announced its objections to the bill, including concerns that H.R. 5078 would “derail” efforts to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act.  The announcement also noted that if the President were presented with H.R. 5078, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.   Notwithstanding H.R. 5078, the public comment deadline for the proposed rule is fast-approaching.  Comments are due to USEPA/USACE by Monday, October 20, 2014.