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October 29, 2015

Barrasso Announces Vote on Bipartisan Bill to Protect Navigable Waters in the United States

Bill scraps EPA rule and directs revisions that focus on traditional navigable water and wetlands while protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.

WASHINGTON, DC –Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) announced that the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed to his bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act, S. 1140, during the week of Nov. 2.

S. 1140 directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that protects traditional navigable water and wetlands from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.

“The Senate has the opportunity now to take up the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, a strong bipartisan bill that will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to write a reasonable rule to protect our navigable waterways,” said Barrasso. “Our beautiful rivers and lakes deserve protection, and this bill does nothing to block legitimate efforts to safeguard the true waters of the United States.

“By striking the right balance, we’ll restore Washington’s attention to the country’s traditional waterways, protecting these cherished natural resources. At the same time, we’ll give certainty to farmers, ranchers and small-business owners that they can use their property reasonably without fear of constant Washington intervention. The recently finalized rule on Waters of the U.S. is the posterchild of EPA overreach. Many of my colleagues, particularly those from rural states in both parties, have talked about their concern with the rule. This will be their chance to show their constituents that they are ready to do something about it.”

Senator Barrasso introduced S. 1140 on April 30, 2015 with Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), among others. S. 1140 has a total of 46 cosponsors. The bill passed the Environment and Public Works Committee on June 10, 2015.