Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140)

Clean Up the Clean Water Rule - U.S. News and World Report, Sens. Joe Donnelly, John Barrasso, Heidi Heitkamp, Jim Inhofe

"Most Americans believe we can get more accomplished when we work together. We agree. That's why we worked as a group to introduce bipartisan legislation, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which would direct the EPA write a better rule that better serves farmers, ranchers and small businesses by simply making sure that the agency works with our partners across the country to integrate the feedback from those who live and work alongside these waters every day. They are the ones EPA's rule most directly impacts, so they should have their voices heard about how the rule works or doesn't work – something that was missing before this rule was released."

Why Every Property Owner Should Fear EPA's WOTUS Rule - Fox News, Sen. Jim Inhofe

"The “water” that EPA can regulate does not even have to be wet.  It is also defined by “chemical, physical, and biological indicators.”...The huge expansion in federal authority under the final rule means that it is more important than ever for Congress to act.  Last month, a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, to rein in EPA’s attempt to use the Clean Water Act to expand federal control while protecting those waters that need to be protected to keep pollution from reaching traditional navigable waters."


What is WOTUS?

EPA and the Corps of Engineers have issued a final rule that expands the scope of federal authority over land and water at the expense of states.  This rule creates new jurisdictional tests that give federal officials the authority to regulate nearly all water, including manmade water management systems, water that infiltrates into the ground or moves overland, and any other water that they decide has a “significant nexus” to downstream water based on use by animals, insects and birds and water storage considerations, shifting the focus of the Clean Water Act from water quality protection and navigable waters to regulating habitat and controlling water supply.

To address these concerns and to ensure protection of water for communities across the country, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) directs the agencies to withdraw this flawed rule and issue a revised proposal. The bipartisan legislation will ensure the protection of traditional navigable waters of the United States, including any waters that help protect navigable water. It also protects farmers, ranchers and private landowners by directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that does not include things such as isolated ponds, ditches, agriculture water, storm water, groundwater, floodwater, municipal water supply systems, wastewater management systems, and streams without enough flow to carry pollutants to navigable waters.


S. 1140 Myth vs. Fact

Click here to view a full list of support for S. 1140 

American Farm Bureau Federation -

"The Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) addresses critical concerns we have with EPA’s “waters of the U.S.” proposed rule. There can be no question that the rule poses a serious threat to farmers, ranchers and private landowners. The proposal, if finalized, would allow EPA to regulate well beyond the limits authorized by Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce -

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending America’s free enterprise system, supports the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S.1140) and the Committee’s efforts to address the Environmental Protection Agency’s and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ significant jurisdictional overreach as these agencies prepare to finalize their proposed definition of “waters of the United States.”' 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Key Voting this Legislation 

Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) -

"It is now abundantly clear that Congress needs to provide guidance to the agencies and set parameters for that regulation. The Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) would require the withdrawal of the joint rulemaking recently finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) revising the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). S. 1140 then provides to EPA and the Corps the procedural and substantive direction necessary for development of a more reasonable rule that will protect the nation’s ‘navigable’ waterways."

U.S. Conference of Mayors, NACo, National League of Cities, National Association of Regional Councils -

"The Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) requires the EPA and the Corps to work closely with states and local governments to develop a new proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule as partners with the federal government in implementing and enforcing CWA programs. The Act is consistent with our belief that states and localities should be consulted in meaningful ways on rules before they are formally proposed, especially if the rule will have a significant impact on capital costs, operations and mandates for the people we serve as required under federal law."

National Federation of Independent Business -

"The Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) would provide relief for small businesses by sending the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers back to the drawing board on its problematic Waters of the United States rule."

NFIB is Key Voting this Legislation

Associated Builders and Contractors - 

"We are deeply concerned about the final rule jointly issued by EPA and the Corps to redefine WOTUS and the harmful impact that it will have on the construction industry. Beyond creating uncertainty over the permitting process, the rule will increase regulatory compliance costs and lead to a more drawn-out approval process that will harm the construction industry both directly and indirectly, as our industry’s growth relies largely on a growing economy as a whole. Issues like these, as well as the increased potential for litigation, easily translate to lost businesses and jobs and stalled economic activity, all of which is detrimental to the construction industry."

ABC is Key Voting this Legislation


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memos 


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