NFIB Asks Congress to Stop Massive Federal Overreach
Congress to Stop Massive Federal Overreach
to Greatly Expand Federal Authority Over Private Property
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8,
2014 — The National Federation of Independent
Business (NFIB) sent letters to a U.S. Senator and the House Appropriations
Committee today thanking them for efforts to stop the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from greatly expanding
federal authority over private property and dramatically changing definitions
in the Clean Water Act.
are attempting to change the definition of waters of the United States in such
a way that will vastly expand the federal government’s authority over private
landowners, including small businesses. Under this proposal, land formations
that only fill and hold water during heavy rain would be regulated if the agencies
determine they would affect the quality of downstream navigable waters.
introduced S. 2496, the Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014, which
would stop the agencies from moving forward with the proposed rule. In
addition, the House Appropriations Committee has included language to prevent
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using federal funds to develop, adopt,
implement, administer, or enforce any change to the definition of waters under
the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
“Congress provided a directive when they
crafted the Clean Water Act,” said NFIB Manager of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch. “In no way does the law
provide the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction over every drop of
water that might eventually end up in a navigable water. These agencies are
sidestepping congressional authority and bypassing the necessary rulemaking
process to bring seasonal streams, ponds, ditches, depressions in fields, and
large puddles into federal jurisdiction.
result of this overreach would disproportionately impact small businesses as
Clean Water Act permits can cost tens of thousands of dollars and lead to
lengthy project delays. The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers should follow the
normal rulemaking process and demonstrate that this would not have a
significant economic impact on small business – as mandated by Congress and
required by law.”
is the nation’s leading small business advocacy association, with offices in
Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 to give
small-business owners a voice in public policy-making, NFIB’s policy positions
are set by its 350,000 business-owner members, who send their views directly to
state and federal lawmakers through NFIB’s unique member-only ballot. NFIB’s
mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and
grow their businesses. More information is available online at www.NFIB.com/news.