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New Senate Report Highlights Costs of the Obama-EPA's Overreach on Federal Water Regulations

EPA's unfunded mandates will cost state and local governments billions of dollars without any guarantee of environmental benefits

Link to EPW Minority Report: "Clouded Waters: A Senate Report Exposing the High Cost of EPA's Water Regulations and Their Impacts on State and Local Budgets."

Washington, D.C.- Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today released a new Senate report by the EPW Minority staff entitled, "Clouded Waters: A Senate Report Exposing the High Cost of EPA's Water Regulations and Their Impacts on State and Local Budgets." 

This report examines the effects on state and local governments of several federal water regulations that the Obama EPA is, or will shortly be, implementing: new water quality criteria in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and numeric nutrient criteria for geographic locations, new stormwater rules, and the new Pesticide General Permit (PGP). These rules carry with them significant unfunded mandates that will cost state and local governments tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars.  These new rules are not the outcome of legislation or rigorous scientific findings, but the direct result of a number of lawsuits by environmentalists.  And the benefits do not outweigh the costs: as this report shows, these new rules will cause a lot of economic pain for state and local governments, without any guarantee of water quality improvement. 

"The Obama-EPA has put forward an unprecedented number of costly federal regulations," Senator Inhofe said. "While the Agency's onerous air rules have long been in the spotlight, its water regulations, which are lesser-known, will also harm the economy and will greatly expand federal reach over the nation's waters.  Today, I am releasing a report that highlights four of the most expensive water rules that EPA is planning to implement-they will cost billions of dollars and put thousands of jobs at risk, all for little, if any environmental benefits."

 "Some have suggested that EPA's budget cuts are the cause of hardship for state and local governments, but this is misleading: states and municipalities are suffering because this administration is cranking out expensive unfunded mandates at a breakneck pace, while decreasing the amount the Agency is spending to implement them.  In fact, EPA requested dramatic cuts for water programs in its FY2012 budget. The result is that state and local governments are faced with unreasonable costs, and it is the ratepayer that will undoubtedly foot the bill."