The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) is set to mark-up a bill May 14 that could expand the authority of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation under the Clean Water Act.
The bill, S. 787 introduced by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), comes in light of a number of Supreme Court rulings that have complicated the definition of the “navigable waters of the United States,” over which the EPA has authority. The Feingold bill would clarify the law in light of the Court’s ruling, but would also give EPA expanded authority by eliminating the word “navigable”.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), a key wheat-state legislator, is said to be circulating a plan that would exempt from this regulation land previously converted from wetland to cropland.
NAWG opposes any effort to remove the term “navigable” from the definition of “navigable waters of the United States,” and will follow this issue as it proceeds in Congress.