Senators: ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule Threatens Fourth of July Fireworks
Proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule could enable litigious environmental groups to jeopardize fireworks displays
July 1, 2014
U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led ten Senators in sending a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding the effects the recently proposed "waters of the United States" rule could have on fireworks displays across the nation.
"If the proposed ‘waters of the United States' rule becomes final and serves as the eventual basis for future citizen suits against those who organize fireworks shows, we fear fewer homeowners, communities, or local organizations will be able to conduct fireworks displays as they have for decades or longer," wrote the Senators.
The "waters of the U.S." rule would provide broad definitions for "tributaries," "adjacent waters," and "neighboring waters" under the Clean Water Act, greatly expanding the federal government's authority over ditches, floodplains, and other areas through which water may flow.
Vitter has been actively engaged with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) since the "waters of the U.S." rule was released in March 2014. He has been concerned with how the rule would impact the economy and affect private property rights. In June 2014, Vitter signed on as a cosponsor to Sen. John Barrasso's (R-Wyo.) legislation to prevent EPA and the Army Corps from finalizing the proposed "waters of the U.S." rule. Click here to read more.
Signing today's letter include Sens. Vitter, Barrasso, Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).