House Session 2011-07-13 (13:59:39-15:00:05)
Articles,  Blog

House Session 2011-07-13 (13:59:39-15:00:05)


THERE ARE PUBLIC LIBRARIES LEAVING THIS NOW AND TAKING YOU BACK LIVE AS THE HOUSE HAS GAVELED BACK IN. LIVE COVERAGE ON C-SPAN.
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HOUSE CALENDAR NUMBER 52. HOUSE RESOLUTION NUMBER 347. RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL H.R. 2018, TO AMEND THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT TO PRESERVE THE AUTHORITY OF EACH STATE TO MAKE DETERMINATIONS RELATING TO THE STATE’S WATER QUALITY STANDARDS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. THE QUESTION IS ON ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION. MEMBERS WILL RECORD THEIR VOTES BY ELECTRONIC DEVICE. THIS IS A 15-MINUTE VOTE. [CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE, INC., IN COOPERATION WITH THE
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REPRESENTATIVES. UNITED STATES HOUSE OF ANY USE OF THE CLOSED-CAPTIONED COVERAGE OF THE HOUSE PROCEEDINGS FOR POLITICAL OR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES IS EXPRESSLY
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PROHIBITED BY THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.] ON
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THE NAYS ARE 171. THIS VOTE THE YEAS ARE 250. THE RESOLUTION IS ADOPTED. WITHOUT OBJECTION, A MOTION TO RECONSIDER IS LAID ON THE TABLE. FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO RISE? MR. SPEAKER, I ASK FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT ALL MEMBERS MAY HAVE FIVE LEGISLATIVE DAYS TO REVISE AND EXTEND THEIR REMARKS ON H 2018 AND ALSO — ON H.R. 2018. WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. PURSUANT TO HOUSE RESOLUTION 347 AND RULE 18, THE CHAIR DECLARES THE HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE ON THE STATE OF THE UNION FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2018. THE CHAIR APPOINTS THE GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS, MR. POE, TO PRESIDE OVER THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE. THE HOUSE IS IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE ON THE STATE OF THE UNION FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2018 WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT BY TITLE. A BILL TO AMEND THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT TO PRESERVE THE AUTHORITY OF EACH STATE TO MAKE DETERMINATIONS RELATING TO THE STATE’S WATER QUALITY STANDARDS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. PURSUANT TO THE RULE, THE BILL IS CONSIDERED AS READ THE FIRST TIME. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO, MR. GIBBS, AND THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA, MR. RAHALL, WILL EACH CONTROL 30 MINUTES. THE HOUSE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER. TAKE YOUR CONVERSATIONS OFF THE
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FLOOR. THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO. I YIELD MYSELF SUCH TIME AS I MAY CONSUME.
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THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED. MR. CHAIRMAN, I RISE IN STRONG SUPPORT OF H.R. 2018, THE CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT OF 2011. ALMOST FOUR DECADES AGO WHEN I WENT ENACTED THE CLEAN WATER ACT, CONGRESS ESTABLISHED A SYSTEM OF COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM OF MAKING THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THE E.P.A., AND THE STATE PARTNERS IN REGULATING THE NATION’S WATER QUALITY AND ALLOCATED THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR DEALING WITH DAY-TO-DAY WATER POLLUTION PATROL MATTERS TO THE STATES. FOR MOST OF ALMOST FOUR DECADES, THIS SYSTEM OF COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM BETWEEN THE E.P.A. AND THE STATES HAS WORKED QUITE WELL. HOWEVER, IN RECENT YEARS THE E.P.A. HAS BEGUN TO USE QUESTIONABLE TACTICS TO USURP THE STATE’S ROLE UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT IN SETTING WATER QUALITY STANDARDS AND INVALIDATE
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LEGALLY ISSUED PERMITS BY THE STATES. E.P.A. HAS DECIDED TO GET INVOLVED IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STATE STANDARDS SECOND-GUESSING STATES WITH RESPECT TO HOW STANDARDS ARE TO BE IMPLEMENTED AND EVEN SECOND-GUESSING E.P.A.’S OWN PRIOR DETERMINATIONS THAT THE STATES’ STANDARDS MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT. E.P.A. HAS ALSO INSERTED ITSELF INTO THE STATES AND THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS’ PERMIT ISSUANCE DECISIONS AND THE SECOND-GUESSING STATE AND OTHER AGENCY’S PERMITTING DECISIONS. E.P.A.’S RECENT ACTIONS INCREASINGLY ARE AMOUNTING TO BULLYING THE STATES ARE UNPRECEDENTED. H.R. 2018 WAS I-DUESED TO CLARIFY AND RESTORE THE LONG-STANDING BALANCE THAT HAD EXISTED BETWEEN THE STATES AND THE E.P.A. AS CO-REGULATORS UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND PRESERVE THE AUTHORITY OF STATES TO MAKE DETERMINATIONS RELATING TO THE WATER QUALITY STANDARDS AND PERMITTING. THE BILL WAS CAREFULLY AND NARROWLY CRAFTED TO PRESERVE THE AUTHORITY OF STATES TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR OWN WATER QUALITY STANDARDS AND PERMITS WITHOUT UNDO INTERFERENCE ON SECOND-GUESSING FROM E.P.A. BUREAUCRATS IN WASHINGTON WITH LITTLE OR NO KNOWLEDGE OF LOCAL WATER QUALITY CONDITIONS. THE LEGISLATION REINS IN E.P.A. FROM UNILATERALLY ISSUING A REVISED OR NEW ORDER QUALITY STANDARD FOR A POLLUTANT WHENEVER A STATE HAS ADOPTED AN E.P.A. — AND E.P.A. HAS ALREADY APPROVED A STANDARD FOR THAT POLLUTANT. H.R. 2018 RESTRICTS E.P.A. FROM WITHDRAWING ITS PREVIOUS APPROVAL OF A STATE’S MPDS WATER QUALITY PERMITTING PROGRAM OR FROM PLIMENTING FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR STATE WATER QUALITY PERMITTING PROGRAM ON THE BASIS THAT THE E.P.A. DISAGREES WITH THE STATE. FURTHER, THE BILL RESTRICTS E.P.A.’S — E.P.A. FROM EJECTING TO MPS PERMITS ISSUED BY A STATE. MOREOVER, THE BILL CLARIFIES THAT E.P.A. CAN DEAL AN ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEER ACT WHEN THE STATE CONCURS WITH THE VETO. THESE LIMITATIONS APPLY ONLY IN SITUATIONS WHERE E.P.A. IS ATTEMPTING TO CONTRADICT AND UNILATERALLY FORCE ITS OWN ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL POLICY ON A STATE’S WATER QUALITY PROGRAM. BY LIMITING SUCH AN OVERREACHING BY THE E.P.A., H.R. 2018 IN NO WAY AFFECTS E.P.A.’S PROPER ROLE IN REVIEWING STATE PERMITS AND STANDARDS AND COORDINATION POLLUTION CONTROL EFFORTS BETWEEN THE STATES. E.P.A. JUST HAS TO GET BACK TO A MORE COLLABORATIVE ROLE IN ITS LONG PLAY AS THE OVERSEER OF THE STATE’S IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT. DETRACTORS OF THIS LEGISLATION CLAIM THAT THE BILL ONLY INTENDS TO DISRUPT THE COMPLEMENTARY ROLES OF E.P.A. AND THE STATES ON THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND ELIMINATE E.P.A.’S ABILITY TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN DOWNSTREAM STATES FROM ACTIONS IN UPSTREAM STATES. IN REALITY THESE DETRACTORS WANT TO CENTRALIZE POWER IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SO IT CAN DOMINATE WATER QUALITY REGULATION IN THE STATES. IMPLICIT IN THEIR MESSAGE IS THAT THEY DO NOT TRUST THE STATES IN PROTECTING THE QUALITY OF THEIR WATERS AND THE HEALTH OF THEIR CITIZENS. THIS BILL RETURNS THE BALANCE, CERTAINTY, AND COOPERATION BETWEEN THE STATES AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN REGARDS TO THE ENVIRONMENT BY OUR ECONOMY, JOB CREATORS, AND PERMIT HOLDERS HAVE BEEN BEGGING FOR. WELL OVER 100 ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING A WIDE VARIETY OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ENTITIES SUPPORT THIS LEGISLATION. JUST TO NAME A FEW THESE ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDE THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE DEPARTMENTS OF AGRICULTURE.
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FEDERATION. THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU THE NATIONAL MINING ASSOCIATION.
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ASSOCIATION. THE NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS. AND THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF AMERICA. I URGE PASSAGE OF H.R. 2018 AND I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.
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THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO RESERVES. THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST
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RECOGNIZED. VIRGINIA, MR. RAHALL, IS MR. CHAIRMAN, I YIELD MYSELF SUCH TIME AS I MAY CONSUME.
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WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED. I RISE IN SUPPORT OF H.R. 2018. FOR FAR TOO MANY YEARS NOW MY STATE AND OTHERS THROUGHOUT THE APPALACHIAN REGION THAT PRODUCE COAL TO POWER OUR NATION HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING UNDER THE WEIGHT OF AN UNCERTAIN FEDERAL PERMITTING PROCESS. THAT UNCERTAINTY HAS LEFT COAL MINERS AND MINING COMMUNITIES LIVING IN AN UNTENABLE LIMBO. THE RESULT HAS BEEN THE CREATION OF A ATMOSPHERE OF WORRY, DISTRUST, AND OF BITTERNESS. I HAD HOPED THAT UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION WE WOULD FINALLY FIND OUR WAY TO SOME FAIR — CLARITY AND COMMON GROUND, UNFORTUNATELY THAT HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE. RATHER THAN BRINGING SIDES TOGETHER AND FOSTERING BALANCE, THE E.P.A.’S ACTIONS IN RECENT MONTHS HAVE WIDENED THE DIVISION. THEY HAVE SPURRED THE TENSION OF DIVIDED OPINION OVER SERVICE COAL MINING TO FRACTURE WHAT SHOULD BE A COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP AMONG THE FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES WITH PERMITTING RESPONSIBILITY. NOT ONLY IS THE E.P.A. REACHING INTO THE CLEAN WATER ACT AUTHORITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION CORPS OF ENGINEERS, IT IS REACHING INTO THE STATES AND ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL THEIR WATER PROTECTION PROGRAMS. OPPONENTS OF THIS LEGISLATION WILL ARGUE THAT THE E.P.A. DOES NOT HAVE STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO LIMIT OR OTHERWISE SUPERSEDE THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATES TO ISSUE WATER QUALITY PERMITS UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT, SECTION 401. BUT THAT LACK OF STATUTORY AUTHORITY HAS NOT PREVENTED THEM FROM TRYING TO DO SO. IN ITS VERY FIRST OFFICIAL STEP TO CHANGE THE RULES OF SURFACE MINE PERMITTING ON JUNE 11, 2009, THE E.P.A. ENTERED INTO A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AND THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT. IT STATES, AND I QUOTE, E.P.A. WILL IMPROVE AND STRENGTHEN OVERSIGHT AND REVIEW OF WATER POLLUTION PERMITS FOR DISCHARGES FROM VALID FIELDS UNDER CWA SECTION 402 AND OF STATE WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATIONS UNDER C.W.A. SECTION 401 BY TAKING APPROPRIATE STEPS TO ASSIST STATES TO STRENGTHEN STATE REGULATION ENFORCEMENT AND PERMITTING OF SURFACE MINE
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END QUOTE. OPERATIONS UNDER THESE PROGRAMS, THE AGENCY MADE CLAIM IT IS ONLY FOLLOWING THE LAW AND, QUOTE, ASSISTING, END QUOTE, THE STATES. BUT THE REALITY IS THE AGENCY IS STRONG ARMING THE STATES. JUST AS IT IS MUSCLING IN ON THE JURISDICTION OF OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES. BY CREATING WHOLLY NEW CRITERIA AND NEW TIMELINESS FOR CLEAN WATER ACT PERMITS AND STUBBORNLY INSISTING FROM ON HIGH THAT THE STATES ADHERE TO THEM, THE E.P.A. IS IMPOSING ITS OWN WILL AND ITS OWN INTERPRETATIONS OF WATER QUALITY STANDARDS ON THE STATES. IT HAS DRAWN A LINE IN THE SAND AND IT IS DARING THE STATES TO CROSS OVER IT. TO MY MIND THE MOST LOGICAL SOLUTION WOULD BE FOR ALL SIDES TO COME TOGETHER. THE FEDERAL AGENCIES OUGHT TO WORK TOGETHER IN A COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE STATES. THAT WAS THE VISION OF C.W.A. AND THAT’S THE GOAL OF 2018, THE CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT OF 2011. I THINK WE WOULD ALL PREFER NOT
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LEGISLATION. TO HAVE TO CRAFT THIS KIND OF CERTAINLY IT WOULD BE PREFERABLE THAT AGENCIES WORK WITH EACH OTHER, STATES, AND CONFINES OF THEIR STATUTORY AUTHORITY T WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF THEY FOLLOWED THE RULES AND DID NOT TRY TO CHANGE THE LAW THROUGH GUIDANCE AND M.O.U.’S. WHEN THEY DO SO, WHEN THEY HAVE USED DID — ABUSE THEIR POWERS, CONGRESS SERVES AS A RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK ON THIS THEM. I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.
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THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA RESERVES. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO IS RECOGNIZED. I WISH TO YIELD THE BALANCE OF MY TIME TO AS MUCH TIME AS HE NEEDS TO CONSUME, THE GENTLEMAN FROM FLORIDA, MR. MICA. THE GENTLEMAN FROM FLORIDA MICA FOR AS MUCH TIME AS HE WISHES TO CONSUME. THANK YOU, MR. GIBBS. MR. SPEAKER, AND ALSO THE RANKING MEMBER OF OUR FULL COMMITTEE, MR. RAHALL. I WANT TO THANK AGAIN MR. GIBBS AND MR. RAHALL FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE. I’M PLEASED TO BE A SPONSOR OF THIS LEGISLATION. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT H.R. 2018. WE CALL THIS THE CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT OF 2011.
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. IT IS INDEED A BIPARTISAN EFFORT HAS BROAD SUPPORT FROM BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. IT IS A MEASURE TO RESTORE SOME BALANCE BETWEEN E.P.A., OUR FEDERAL REGULATORY BODY THAT OVERSEES THE CLEAN WATER ACT, AND OUR STATES WHICH ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SOME OF THAT IMPORTANT WORK THAT ENSURES THAT WE HAVE CLEAN WATER. NOW, I KNOW THERE IS NO ONE THAT WANTS TO IN ANY WAY DEGRADE THE QUALITY OF CLEAN WATER, THAT WANTS TO LOWER STANDARDS FOR EMISSIONS, THAT IS NOT A GOOD STEWARD OF OUR ENVIRONMENT. BUT THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE ACTION THAT WE HAVE SEEN FROM E.P.A. HAS UNLEASHED AN UNPRECEDENTED BACKLASH. EVERYONE HAS CALLED THIS A HUGE POWER GRAB BY E.P.A. AND E.P.A. HAS INDEED CREATED A REGULATORY NIGHTMARE THAT AFFECTS ALMOST EVERY STATE IN THE UNION. OUR GOAL HERE AGAIN IS TO ENSURE THAT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SETS STANDARDS AND THAT WE DO HAVE PROPER ROLE FOR IMPLEMENTING THE CLEAN WATER ACT. AND ONCE STATES HAVE TAKEN ACTION, HAVE THEIR PLANS APPROVED, THAT THERE CAN BE SOME SENSE OF RELIABILITY AND STABILITY IN THE DECISION THAT E.P.A. HAS CONCURRED WITH. WHAT WE HAVE SEEN NOW IS THE E.P.A. CHANGING THE RULES AFTER STATES HAVE HAD A COMMITMENT AND OUTLINED — OUTLINE OF THE PROTOCOLS THEY MUST FOLLOW. RAISING COMPLETE HAVOC. IN FACT, THE AGENCY’S ACTIONS COULD JEOPARDIZE MORE THAN $220 BILLION WORTH OF ANNUAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY WHICH IS SUBJECT TO THE CLEAN WATER ACT, SECTION 402 AND 404 PERMITS. SO AGAIN THIS IS ALMOST AN UNPRECEDENTED REGULATORY GRAB CREATING A POTENTIAL NIGHTMARE, LEAVING PROJECTS ON HOLD. THESE PROJECTS HAVE NOT ONLY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT BUT THEY ALSO HAVE A JOB AND EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC IMPACT IN THE UNITED STATES AT A VERY
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DIFFICULT TIME FOR OUR ECONOMIES. SO THIS BILL HAS BEEN VERY NARROWLY CRAFTED — DRAFTED TO PRESERVE THE AUTHORITY OF STATES TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT PROTECTING WATER QUALITY IN THEIR STATES, AND TO AGAIN IMPOSE SOME RESTRICTIONS ON E.P.A. AND ITS OVERREACH AND TO TRY TO PROHIBIT SOME OF THIS SECOND-GUESSING OR DELAYS ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTING A STATE’S WATER QUALITY PERMITTING PROCESS AND THE STANDARDS AND DECISIONS THAT THEY HAVE MADE UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT. AND THIS IS ALSO ALL DONE AFTER, AGAIN, E.P.A. HAS ALREADY APPROVED A STATE’S PROGRAM. SO WE HAVE GREAT CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT’S TAKING PLACE. THE IMPACT ISN’T JUST FLORIDA, AND I HAVE A COUPLE OF ARTICLES HERE I’LL REFER TO. AND THE REACTION IN THE SUNSHINE NEWS WHICH IS PUBLISHED THROUGHOUT FLORIDA, OUR FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE WHO SERVED IN THIS HOUSE WHO IS NOW THE AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER IN FLORIDA, HE RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING THAT E.P.A. ESSENTIALLY IGNORES CONCERNS ABOUT THE EFFECT OF IMPLEMENTATION THAT IT WOULD HAVE ON FLORIDA’S ECONOMY. AND HE SUPPORTS A BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO, AGAIN, BACK UP THE NEW RULES WITH SOUND SCIENCE. SO WHETHER IT’S FLORIDA OR HERE’S A FOX NEWS REPORT RELATED TO APPALACHIA, APPALACHIAN COAL MINERS SAYS E.P.A. RULES ARE KILLING THEIR JOBS. ANOTHER ARTICLE IN THE FLORIDA TIMES UNION, THE SCIENTISTS, E.P.A. RACE TO PROTECT FLORIDA WATERS COULD LEAVE SCIENCE BEHIND. SO WE JOIN A CHORUS OF NUMEROUS ORGANIZATIONS. MR. GIBBS TALKED ABOUT THEM. WE HAVE, AGAIN, A HUGE NUMBER OF ORGANIZATIONS, THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AMERICAN FARM BUREAU, THE NATIONAL MINING ASSOCIATION, ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTORS. ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF AMERICA. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS. GROUPS FROM LABOR AND OTHERS WHO ALSO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS AN E.P.A. OVERREACH AND WILL HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT BOTH — WHAT WE ARE HOPING TO ACHIEVE, AGAIN WITH HAVING THE STATES PROPERLY IMPLEMENT CLEAN WATER REGULATIONS, BUT ALSO A VERY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON EMPLOYMENT AT A VERY PRECAREOUS TIME IN THE
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. ECONOMY OF THIS NATION. SO I’D URGE SUPPORT OF THIS BIPARTISAN EFFORT AND URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THIS BILL AND YIELD THE BALANCE OF MY TIME TO MR. GIBBS. THE GENTLEMAN FROM
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FLORIDA YIELDS BACK. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO RESERVES. THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA IS RECOGNIZED.
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MR. CHAIRMAN, I NOW YIELD TO A DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN FROM NEW YORK, THE RANKING SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBER ON OUR WATER RESOURCES COMMITTEE, MR. BISHOP. THE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW YORK IS RECOGNIZED FOR TWO MINUTES. THREE MINUTES. THREE MINUTES.
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THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN. I THANK THE RANKING MEMBER FOR YIELDING ME TIME. I RISE IN STRONG OPPOSITION TO H.R. 2018, THE CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT OF 2011. DESPITE SOME OF THE ARGUMENTS I HEARD IN FAVOR OF THIS LEGISLATION, H.R. 2018 HAS NOT BEEN NARROWLY CRAFTED TO ADDRESS ISSUES RELATED TO NUTRIENT CRITERIA AND SURFACE COAL MINING. I ECHO THE ADMINISTRATION’S OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL WHEN I SAY THAT H.R. 2018 WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERMINE THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND COULD
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ADVERSELY AFFECT PUBLIC HEALTH, THE ECONOMY AND THE ENVIRONMENT. WHILE PROPONENTS OF THIS LEGISLATION ARGUE THAT THE CHANGES TO THE CLEAN WATER
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PERMITTING INSTRUCTURE ARE TARGETED TO ADDRESS THE DEVELOPMENT OF NUTRIENT CRITERIA, SUCH AS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, THE FACT IS THAT THIS LEGISLATION IS DRAFTED TO INCLUDE ANY POLLUTANT, MEAN THAT ITS REACH EXTENT TO ANY DISCHARGE TO ANY SOURCE TO ANY WATER BODY IN THE UNITED STATES. UNDER THIS LEGISLATION, E.P.A. WILL ALSO BE PROHIBITED FROM RECOMMENDING STRICTER DISCHARGE STANDARDS FOR TOXIC POLLUTANTS SUCH AS LEAD OR MERCURY, EVEN IF THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN HEALTH IS AT STAKE UNLESS THE STATE CONSENTS TO SUCH CHANGES. IN MY VIEW, THIS POLICY DOES NOT MOVE OUR NATION FORWARD BUT RATHER REVERSES OUR DIRECTION AND MOVES OUR NATION BACK 40 YEARS TO BEFORE THE ENACTMENT OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT. SOME OF MY FRIENDS WOULD LIKE TO AVOID A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH TO REGULATING CLEAN WATER.
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I WOULD TOO. LUCKILY FOR US THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT ALREADY PROVIDES STATES ENORMOUS FLEXIBILITY IN SETTING WATER STANDARDS. IT ALLOWS STATES TO ASSUME AUTHORITY OVER DAY-TO-DAY IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STATE PERMITTING PROGRAM AND ALLOWS THEM TO HAVE MORE STRINGENT CONTROL OVER POLLUTION WITHIN THEIR BORDERS. THE CLEAN WATER ACT MERELY SETS THE BASELINE MINIMUM WATER QUALITY. 70% OF THE NATION’S WATERS WERE UNSAFE FOR FISHING, SWIMMING OR DRINKING. WE ARE NOW AT 30% OF OUR WATERS IN SUCH A CONDITION. AND I VERY MUCH DOUBT THAT ANY REASONABLE PERSON WOULD WANT TO RETURN TO THE DAYS OF 70%. SOME OF MY FRIEND ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE HAVE ARGUED THAT THIS LEGISLATION IS NECESSARY BECAUSE STATE AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT CLEAN WATER PROGRAMS MUCH IMPROVED SINCE 1972. I AGREE THAT INDIVIDUAL STATES HAVE INCREASED THEIR CAPACITY TO PROTECT THE WATER QUALITY WITHIN THEIR STATE. HOWEVER, I THINK IT IS ALSO FAIR TO SUGGEST THAT THE CLEAN WATER ACT HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL TO THIS NATION’S EFFORTS TO DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF WATERS MEETING THE FISHABLE AND SWIMMABLE STANDARD SINCE ENACTMENT OF THIS STATUTE IN 1972. IN MY VIEW, THE ELIMINATION OF E.P.A.’S OVERSIGHT AND AUTHORITY FOR STANDARDS WOULD HAVE A POTENTIAL RACE TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF POLLUTION DISCHARGE LIMITS WITHIN A STATE’S BORDERS. WE HAVE SEEN DISPUTES BETWEEN OKLAHOMA AND ARKANSAS. THE POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ONE STATE TO SEND ITS POLLUTION
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DOWNSTREAM TO THE OTHER STATE IS REAL AND NEEDS TO BE PREVENTED. MR. CHAIRMAN, THE ROLE OF THE CONGRESS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF E.P.A. AND THE CLEAN WATER ACT HAS SERVED OUR NATION WELL FOR OVER 40 YEARS. IT HAS PROTECTED PUBLIC HEALTH AND HAS PROTECTED THE MANY
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BUSINESSES AND INDUSTRY THAT RELY ON CLEAN WATER. MR. CHAIRMAN, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO SUBMIT FOR THE RECORD THE STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY ON H.R. 2018 AND THE E.P.A.’S ANALYSIS OF H.R. 2018. THIS WILL BE COVERED
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THE GENTLEMAN’S TIME HAS UNDER GENERAL LEAVE. EXPIRED. THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA RESERVES.
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RECOGNIZED. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO IS
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MR. CHAIRMAN, I WISH TO YOLD FOUR MINUTES TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA, MR. SHUSTER. THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED FOR FOUR MINUTES. I THANK THE GENTLEMAN FOR YIELDING. I RISE IN STRONG SUPPORT OF H.R. 2018, THE CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT OF 2011. AS A MEMBER OF THE WATER SUBCOMMITTEE AND CO-SPONSOR OF THIS BILL, I APPLAUD CHAIRMAN MICA, CHAIRMAN GIBBS AND RANKING MEMBER RAHALL FOR BRINGING FORWARD THIS IMPORTANT BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION. H.R. 2018 SEEKS TO REVERSE THE EROSION OF THE STATES’ AUTHORITY AND PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT. THIS WELL-ESTABLISHED AND EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIP HAS COME UNDER INCREASING ATTACK BY THE E.P.A. BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND E.P.A. HAS UNDERMINED THE STATES’ SHARED REGULATORY AUTHORITY. OUR BILL PRESERVES THE SYSTEM OF COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ESTABLISHED UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND IN WHICH THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ARE ALLOCATED TO THE STATES. THE BILL RESTRICTS E.P.A.’S ABILITY TO SECOND GUESS OR DELAY STATES’ PERMITTING AND WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION
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DECISIONS UNDER THE C.W.A. ONCE THE E.P.A. HAS ALREADY APPROVED A STATE’S PROGRAM. WE MUST PUT AN END TO E.P.A.’S ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL AND THE
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ECONOMY’S STIFLING AGENDA. THIS ASSURES THE COMMONSENSE REGULATORY REGIME THAT PROTECTS OUR ENVIRONMENT WHILE AT THE SAME TIME PROTECTING OUR NATION’S FARMERS, MINERS AND
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OTHER BUSINESSES CRITICAL TO OUR ECONOMY. I HAVE A LETTER HERE THAT I BELIEVE MR. GIBBS IS GOING TO OFFER TO THE RECORD LATER THAT WAS SIGNED BY 121 ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING A BROAD
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CROSS-SECTION OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY, UNITED IN STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT. THIS BILL ADDRESSES ONE OF THE MANY AREAS IN WHICH E.P.A. HAS OVERSTEPPED THEIR AUTHORITY AND TAKEN ACTION THAT IS DEEPLY HURTFUL TO OUR ECONOMY. IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE E.P.A. HAS INCREASED THEIR INTERFERENCE TO THE COMMONWEALTH TO UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS. CREATING NUMEROUS DELAYS AND PROBLEMS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH IN OUR DEPARTMENT OF
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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WITH NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS OR ENVIRONMENTAL PAYOFF. I RECEIVED COPIES OF NUMEROUS LETTERS FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA D.E.P. SECRETARY TO THE E.P.A. — CITING E.P.A.’S INTERFERENCE AND UNWILLINGNESS TO COLLABORATE WITH THE STATE ON THE ISSUE FOR THREE DECADES. THE FIRST EXAMPLE IS REGARDING THE NATIONAL POLLUTANT ELIMINATION SYSTEM, THE NPDES PERMITS WHICH HAS BEEN A PROBLEM FOR SEVERAL STATES IN ADDITION TO PENNSYLVANIA. PENNSYLVANIA D.E.P. HAS PRIMARY AUTHORITY OVER THE NPEDS PERMITTING AUTHORITY SINCE 1994 AND THE E.P.A. HAS JUST RECENTLY STARTED TO INTERFERE IN THE PENNSYLVANIA PROGRAM, SPECIFICALLY IN MINING-RELATED PERMITS. THE E.P.A. SPECIFICALLY INCREASED THE PERMIT REVIEW OF MINING RELATED PERMITS UNDER NEW GUIDANCE WHICH IS HAS CREATED LONG DELAYS AND NO ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS AND
812
00:52:37,000 –>00:52:36,999
BENEFITS. COSTING PENNSYLVANIA JOBS AND THE PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RECENTLY PASSED A RESOLUTION STATING THAT E.P.A. IS OVERSTEPPING D.E.P. WITHOUT ANY FEDERAL, LEGISLATIVE OR REGULATORY CHANGES TO SUPPORT THIS INCREASED OVERSIGHT. THIS RESOLUTION REASSERTS PENNSYLVANIA’S ROLE OVER THE D.E.P. PERMITTING FOR THE STATE.
826
00:53:00,000 –>00:52:59,999
I ASK THIS BE SUBMITTED INTO THE RECORD. THIS WILL BE COVERED
829
00:53:05,000 –>00:53:04,999
THEY HAVE NOT UNDER GENERAL LEAVE. WORKED FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ON CHESAPEAKE BAY ISSUES. THEY DO NOT ACTIVELY REFLECT PENNSYLVANIA’S ISSUES. A LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY TO LISA JACKSON STATES, PENNSYLVANIA D.E.P. AND OUR MUNICIPALITY STAKE HOLDERS HAVE BEEN FRUSTRATED WITH THE CONTINUED FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE CHALLENGES OF PENNSYLVANIA’S UNIQUE MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES. THEY DON’T THINK IT HAS BEEN COLLABORATIVE. AGAIN, E.P.A. — SENT ANOTHER LETTER TO THE D.E.P. WITH THE HANDLING OF WASTE WATER FOR THE MARCELLUS DRILLING, OVERSTEPPING THE D.E.P. CRITICIZING APPROACH AND DEMANDING PENNSYLVANIA DIRECT THE SAMPLING AND MONITORING PROGRAM. SEEMS THE E.P.A. IS LISTENING MORE TO “THE NEW YORK TIMES” THAN THE STATE REGULATORY AGENCIES THAT ARE ACTUALLY REGULATING AND MONITORING THE ISSUES ON THE GROUND. THE E.P.A. ALONG WITH OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES CONTINUE TO GRAB FOR MORE AUTHORITY
865
00:54:07,000 –>00:54:06,999
OVERRIDING LONG-STANDING STATE POLICIES — CAN I ASK FOR ANOTHER 15 SECONDS. 30 SECONDS. THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED FOR 30 SECONDS. THANK YOU. REGULATORY OIL AND GAS
873
00:54:19,000 –>00:54:18,999
EXPLORATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. IN PARTICULAR, STATES SUCH AS PENNSYLVANIA WITH LONG-STANDING AND RESPECTIVE PROGRAMS. THE E.P.A. NEEDS TO BACK OFF. PENNSYLVANIA ISSUES IS DIFFERENT THAN TEXAS ISSUES. NO ONE WANTS TO PROTECT PENNSYLVANIA BETTER THAN THE STATE AGENCIES WANTING TO PROTECT IT. I STRONGLY SUPPORT H.R. 2018 AND, AGAIN, CONGRATULATE MR. GIBBS ON A JOB WELL DONE ON THIS LEGISLATION. I YIELD BACK. THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA YIELDS BACK.
892
00:54:45,000 –>00:54:44,999
RESERVES. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. CHAIRMAN, I YIELD ONE MINUTE TO A DISTINGUISH MEMBER OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE, THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA, MR. HOLDEN. THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED FOR ONE MINUTE. I THANK MY FRIEND
906
00:54:59,000 –>00:54:58,999
FROM WEST VIRGINIA FOR YIELDING. MR. CHAIRMAN, I RISE IN STRONG SUPPORT OF H.R. 2018. THE CLEAN WATER ACT CREATED A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE STATES AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO KEEP OUR WATERWAYS HEALTHY. HOWEVER, THE E.P.A. HAS REPEATEDLY TRIED TO IMPOSE FEDERAL STANDARDS ON INDIVIDUAL STATES. IN PENNSYLVANIA, THE E.P.A. IMPOSED AN UNACHIEVABLE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL STANDARD FOR WATER QUALITY THAT IGNORES THE ECONOMIC CONCERNS OF OUR FARMERS, ENERGY PRODUCERS, SMALL BUSINESSES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. THIS GROUP COST PENNSYLVANIA THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND THREATEN OUR ENERGY PRODUCTION. THIS BILL RESTORES THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE STATES AND E.P.A. AS CORE REGULATORS UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT. STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE DEPENDENT UPON CONGRESS TO REMOVE REGULATORY ROADBLOCKS TO ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES WHILE PROTECTING OUR VAST NATURAL RESOURCES. THIS LEGISLATION IS ESSENTIAL TO PROVIDING MUCH-NEEDED CERTAINTY TO SUPPORT INVESTMENT THAT WILL CREATE JOBS IN AMERICAN MINING, MANUFACTURING, AGRICULTURE AND RELATED INDUSTRIES THAT HAVE BORNE THE BRUNT OF E.P.A.’S REGULATORY OVERREACH.
949
00:56:03,000 –>00:56:02,999
MR. CHAIRMAN, I URGE ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION AND YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. CHOIP THE GENTLEMAN’S TIME HAS
953
00:56:07,000 –>00:56:06,999
— EXPIRED. THE GENTLEMAN’S TIME HAS EXPIRED. THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA RESERVES.
959
00:56:13,000 –>00:56:12,999
RECOGNIZED. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO IS MR. CHAIRMAN, I YIELD ONE MINUTE TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE, MR. GUNTA. THE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE IS RECOGNIZED FOR ONE MINUTE.
968
00:56:22,000 –>00:56:21,999
THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN. I WANT TO THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR YIELDING ME TIME ON THIS BILL. I WANT TO THANK THEM FOR WORKING IN A BIPARTISAN WAY TO ADDRESS THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE. MR. CHAIRMAN, THE FIRST BILL I AUTHORED WHEN I CAME TO CONGRESS WAS THE GREAT BAY COMMUNITY PROTECTION ACT. IT’S A SMALLER VERSION AND A MORE FOCUSED VERSION OF A BILL IN THE HOUSE THAT THIS BILL IS ADDRESSING TODAY, THE CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT OF 2011. I’M PROUD TO BE A CO-SPONSOR OF H.R. 2018. I THINK THIS BILL AMENDS THE C.W.A. FOR EACH STATES TO MAKE REGULATIONS FOR EACH STATE’S WATER STANDARDS AND NOT DELAY THE STATE’S PERMITS AND WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION ISSUES UNDER THE C.W.A. IN CERTAIN RESPECTS. THIS LEGISLATION WILL HELP SEVEN COMMUNITIES IN MY STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE SAVE $250 MILLION IN ENSURING THAT WE FOCUS ON CLEAN WATER STANDARDS BUT ALLOWING THE STATE TO DO SO IN A TIMELY MANNER. I URGE PASSAGE OF THIS LEGISLATION AND I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE YIELDS BACK.
1008
00:57:31,000 –>00:57:30,999
RESERVES. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. CHAIRMAN, I’M HONORED TO YIELD A MINUTE TO ANOTHER DISTINGUISHED MEMBER OF OUR COMMITTEE, THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA, MR. ALTMIRE, ONE MINUTE. THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS RECOGNIZED FOR ONE MINUTE. MR. CHAIRMAN, I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THIS BIPARTISAN BILL WHICH WAS CRAFTED AND INTRODUCED WITH JOB CREATION AND REGULATORY CLARITY AS ITS TOP PRIORITY. THE CLEAN WATER ACT ORIGINALLY CREATED A WORKING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE STATES AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. RECENTLY THAT HAS BEEN UNDERMINED BY UNNECESSARY
1033
00:58:05,000 –>00:58:04,999
INTERVENTION BY THE E.P.A. WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IMPOSES IMPOSSIBLE STANDARDS ON JOB CREATORS, THE ENTIRE ECONOMY SUFFERS. BUSINESSES GO THROUGH RIGOROUS PROCESSES TO RECEIVE PERMITS FROM STATE GOVERNMENTS TO PROCEED WITH WORK THAT CREATES JOBS AND PROVIDES REVENUE TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ONLY TO BE UNDERCUT AT THE LAST MINUTE BY E.P.A. REGULATIONS THAT DO NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT LOCAL CONTEXT OR ECONOMIC IMPACT. MY COLLEAGUES SHOULD VOTE YES ON THIS BILL TO PREVENT THIS FURTHER E.P.A. OVERREACH, AND I
1051
00:58:37,000 –>00:58:36,999
TIME. YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA YIELDS BACK. THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA RESERVES.
1057
00:58:43,000 –>00:58:42,999
RECOGNIZED. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO IS I YIELD TWO MINUTES TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM NORTH CAROLINA, MR. COBLE.
1062
00:58:48,000 –>00:58:47,999
THE GENTLEMAN FROM NORTH CAROLINA IS RECOGNIZED
1064
00:58:50,000 –>00:58:49,999
I THANK THE FOR TWO MINUTES. GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO FOR YIELDING. I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO
1069
00:58:55,000 –>00:58:54,999
2018. EXPRESS STRONG SUPPORT FOR H.R.
1071
00:58:57,000 –>00:58:56,999
I COMMEND CHAIRMAN MICA AND RANKING MEMBER RAHALL FOR THEIR HARD WORK IN CRAFTING A BILL THAT BRINGS BACK A SANE BALANCE BETWEEN THE STATES AND FEDERAL REGULATORS. BY THE E.P.A.’S OWN ADMISSION, MR. CHAIRMAN, CURRENT REGULATIONS WILL COST THE UNITED STATES $109 BILLION BY THE END OF YEAR 2020. IN AREAS OF THE SIXTH DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA, E.P.A. CURRENTLY HAS THE ABILITY TO SECOND GUESS OUR DELAY THE STATE’S CLEAN WATER ACT PERMITS EVEN THOUGH IT HAS ALREADY APPROVED THE STATE’S PROGRAM. IT IS FURTHERMORE IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, AS THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, STRONGLY SUPPORTS THIS LEGISLATION, AND I BELIEVE WE NEED TO KEEP THE E.P.A. OFF THE FAMILY FARM. CURRENT E.P.A. REGS WILL HAVE A DISASTROUS EFFECT ON FARMERS, YOURY OWNERS AND WILL ADD TREMENDOUS COSTS AND DELAYS TO COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. MR. CHAIRMAN, I URGE PASSAGE OF 2018 AND AGAIN THANK THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO FOR
1106
00:59:59,000 –>00:59:58,999
TIME. YIELDING AND YIELD BACK MY THE GENTLEMAN FROM NORTH CAROLINA YIELDS. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO RESERVES. THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. CHAIRMAN, I’M HAPPY TO YIELD FOUR MINUTES TO A FORMER MEMBER OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE, NOW A MEMBER OF THE WAYS AND MEANS
1120
01:00:16,000 –>01:00:15,999
COMMITTEE, THE GENTLEMAN FROM OREGON, MR. BLUMENAUER. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OREGON IS RECOGNIZED FOR FOUR MINUTES. STILL A MEMBER IN MY HEART, MR. RAHALL. I APPRECIATE YOUR COURTESY IN PERMITTING ME TO SPEAK ON THIS. I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO DEBATE

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