(WASHINGTON) May 27, 2015 – Today Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke called on the Senate to take swift action to block the Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Administration announced its final rule today. Zinke voted in support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which would require the EPA to withdraw its proposal or finalized rule. The Senate adjourned for recess without taking up the issue.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that the EPA is bypassing Congress and the people to implement regulations that will be carried out by unelected bureaucrats who have never been to Montana and don’t know the difference between Bozeman and Billings,” said Rep. Zinke. “I proudly voted to stop the EPA’s water grab and to preserve landowners, farmers and ranchers rights to make a good living on their own land. The EPA rule will do nothing for conservation, only stifle the economy. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to move swiftly and block the EPA’s water grab as soon as they return to the Capitol.”
Montana farmers, ranchers, home builders and local governments staunchly oppose the EPA rule.
“Montana farmers, ranchers and the entire agriculture community are happy to have Congressman Zinke leading the fight in the House of Representatives to protect our livelihoods against the EPA’s water grab,” said Bob Hanson, President of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation. “By vastly expanding the EPA’s jurisdiction to include ditches, isolated ponds and other seasonal waters, the EPA is trying to increase Washington’s regulatory hold over Montana’s private property. The proposed rule could make basic farming procedures like weed control and fertilizer application impossible. Nobody understands our land better than the men and women who work it every day, that’s why farmers and ranchers already take every measure necessary to ensure clean and safe water, and will continue to do so.”
“The EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule is an expensive regulatory grab that would raise costs for Montana home builders and home buyers, as well as hurt job growth and economic development,” said Eugene Graf IV, owner of E.G. Construction in Bozeman and the National Representative for the Montana Home Builders. “We all share the goal of maintaining safe and clean water, and Montana’s home builders have a sound record protecting water in our communities. However the EPA’s top-down Waters of the U.S. rule will do more harm than good in our local communities by hurting the economy and raising costs for families looking for a new or first home. Montana’s home builders appreciate Ryan Zinke’s leadership in this important matter.”
Source: Congressman Ryan Zinke, Montana