Washington, D.C. - Today, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, heralded the bipartisan introduction of H.R. 4965 by Congressman John Mica (R- FL 7), Congressman Nick Rahall (D- WV 3), Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK 3), Congressman Collin Peterson (D – MN 7), and Congressman Bob Gibbs (R- OH 18). H.R. 4965 would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing, adopting, implementing, administering or enforcing the proposed "Guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act."
“I applaud the introduction of bipartisan legislation in the House that would prevent the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from changing the Clean Water Act through extensive, legalistic, and overreaching guidance,” Senator Inhofe said. “The fact that Republican and Democratic leaders in the House have come together on this bill sends a clear message to the Agencies that lawmakers will not tolerate this end run around Congress and the Supreme Court. Any changes to the Clean Water Act through the Administration should be done through a rulemaking, which requires a transparent process and a public comment period. I look forward to working with my colleagues in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle to rein in the EPA and Army Corps on this important issue.”
H.R. 4965 is similar to S. 2245, the Preserve the Waters of the US Act that was introduced by Senators Barrasso, Inhofe, Sessions and Heller, and 26 additional Senators on March 28, 2012. The Guidance is currently at OMB undergoing interagency review before it is finalized. Senator Inhofe joined Congressman Mica, Sen. Roberts, Congressman Lucas, Sen. Sessions, and Congressman Gibbs in a letter to OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein, requesting that OMB not finalize this controversial guidance document on March 28, 2012. The guidance has been at OMB since February 22, 2012.