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WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) cosponsored legislation to stop a federal takeover of nearly all water in the United States. The Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014 prevents the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing their March 2014 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) regulatory proposal which would significantly expand federal authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA).   

“This is another power grab by the Obama Administration that will make life harder for Arkansas families, especially farm families. I’m glad to be an original sponsor on this legislation, and I will work to put a stop to this administration’s attacks on our way of life, especially in rural areas,” Boozman said. 

The legislation was introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and in addition to Boozman, cosponsors include U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE.), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Sessions (R-FL), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). 

Boozman and several of his colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee wrote to President Obama, highlighting many of the problems with the proposal. In particular, the Senators emphasized that the Administration ignored laws like the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) when the proposal was developed, and that the Administration snubbed the scientific process by proposing the rule before the Science Advisory Board had finished its work. 

“The scope of CWA jurisdiction is one of the most important regulatory issues facing landowners, businesses, and municipalities today,” the Senators wrote. “The proposed ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule will exponentially impede economic recovery and is a significant step in the wrong direction. Mr. President, the decision to move forward would be a clear breach of your promise to cut through red tape.”

Click below to read the letter in its entirety.

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