Six Georgia congressmen joined over 100 of their colleagues in requesting language in upcoming federal appropriations bills that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from enforcing the controversial Waters of the United States rule passed last year. The rule greatly expands the scope of what is considered navigable waters to include farm ponds, ditches, and creeks. Signaers of the letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the two relevant House Appropriations subcommittees include 1st District Rep. Buddy Carter, 9th District Rep. Doug Collins, 11th District Rep. Barry Loudermilk, 8th District Rep. Austin Scott, 3rd District Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, and 7th District Rep. Rob Woodall.
The letter explains the reasoning for withholding funds:
The final adoption of the flawed WOTUS rule by the EPA and US ACE will have disastrous effects on agriculture, small business, and municipalities across the country. The language of the rule is drafted so vaguely that it encompasses nearly all water sources with any hydrologic connection to downstream navigable waters, including ditches, pipes, farmland ponds, groundwater, as well as other waters traditionally regulated by the state.
This proposal runs contrary to Supreme Court decisions as well as state and tribal water laws. If implemented, this water grab would constitute an unlawful expansion of federal authority under the CW A. Currently, there are 170 bipartisan cosponsors of legislation to roll back this rule. Furthermore, more than 200 different stakeholders throughout the nation have raised serious concerns and issued public statements in opposition to WOTUS.
The rule, which is opposed by much of the Peach State’s Washington delegation, Attorney General Sam Olens, and Georgia’s agriculture industry, is currently prevented from being enforced due to an injunction by the sixth circuit court.