House Votes to Nix EPA Water Rule

Posted January 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm

The U.S. House voted on Jan. 13 to invoke the Congressional Review Act to nullify a rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to broaden its jurisdiction over “Waters of the United States.”

The rule would expand EPA’s authority beyond large bodies of water and navigable rivers, lakes and bays to include streams and ponds on private property. TRSA Vice President of Government Relations Kevin Schwalb said the industry opposes the rule because it likely would add to the costs and permitting issues associated with commercial laundries’ relations with publicly owned water treatment works (POTWs).

The rule currently is on hold due to a stay issued last October by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit.

The House voted 253-166 to nullify the rule. The U.S. Senate also voted last November to scrap the rule by a vote of 53—44.

The rule was published in the Federal Register on June 29, 2015, and enforcement by the U.S. Corps of Engineers began in August.

While the court challenges will likely take several months to play out, President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill. Neither chamber of Congress is likely to reach the two-thirds majority vote required to overturn a presidential veto. Click here and here for more information on this rule.