Graves Introduces Bill Adding Accountability, Oversight to the EPA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves yesterday introduced a bill to add accountability to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and halt all regulations coming out of the agency. Graves’ bill, the Stop the EPA Act, would fundamentally change the way the EPA operates and is overseen by Congress.
“From seizing control over private property to rewriting standing law, the EPA has gone too far,” Rep. Graves said. “Unelected bureaucrats at the agency have too much power and not enough accountability.”
“What’s worse, many of the same regulations they are forcing on this country are the same policies that have been rejected by Congress,” Rep. Graves continued. “The Stop the EPA Act will give Congress the opportunity to review all regulations and bring some much needed oversight to the process.”
The Stop the EPA Act will require Congress to approve all regulations with an economic impact over $50 million. Any regulation not approved by Congress would be nullified entirely. The bill would also stop all prior and current regulations until they are able to be reviewed.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: One of the best examples of the EPA’s assault on rural America is its Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released WOTUS in April of 2014, changing the way streams and wetlands were protected under the Clean Water Act. The rule significantly expands the federal government’s power and even enables them to seize control over private property.
WOTUS, and other similar EPA regulations, have had real effects on Missourians. Steve Hall recently purchased land near Parkville so he could build his family a home. Soon after, Steve decided that he wanted to build a pond on his property as well. He complied with the law and with the Missouri Department of Conservation, and received permits from Platte County and the City of Parkville approving the pond.
Because of WOTUS, the Army Corps of Engineers stepped in, telling Steve that his private pond fell under the federal government’s jurisdiction. The EPA determined that the property was vital to the local ecosystem and that building a small pond would have “untold adverse effects” on the land.
Steve was prohibited from building the pond on his land unless the Corps approved his permit, and until he paid nearly $175,000 in “environmental mitigation and excavator’s impact fees.”
The Clean Water Act was intended to create a partnership between local, state, and federal governments in the joint effort to keep our waters clean. For over 40 years, that partnership has been widely successful. Under the Obama Administration, the EPA is reversing decades of progress, hard-work, and cooperation. This EPA has shown that it believes it knows what’s best for the American people, and is willing to stop at nothing to achieve its objectives. The Stop the EPA Act will ensure Congress is playing its appropriate role in overseeing this out of control federal agency.