Legislative Information

Shared on May 11th, 2018 by Dan Sebert, National Watershed Coalition: www.watershedcoalition.org

A new WOTUS rule won’t be final until September 2019, nine months later than EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has told Congress the agency would come up with one. That’s according to the latest regulatory agenda released by the Trump administration.  EPA plans to issue a proposed rule in August and a final rule in September 2019, according to the agenda. Another regulatory action — rescinding the Obama administration’s rule — is expected to be finalized in November, after a supplemental proposal is issued this month.  EPA also expects to issue proposals this September to revise its farm worker protection and certified pesticide applicator rules. The agency has said it wants to make changes to the minimum age requirements in both rules.

The Senate plans to begin moving legislation soon to reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act.  Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said yesterday at a hearing that he plans for his committee to vote on the America’s Water Infrastructure Act later this month.  He said there will be another hearing on the bill May 17 featuring R.D. James with the Army Corps of Engineers. That means the committee markup would likely come the following week. Congress is on recess the last week of the month for Memorial Day.

Barrasso and Tom Carper of Delaware, the committee’s top Democrat, both seemed optimistic about the bipartisan legislation’s chances, but didn’t elaborate on a strategy once the bill gets to the Senate floor, nor did they offer any estimate on when that might happen.

The bill addresses water storage for agricultural irrigation and other purposes, as well as ports and waterways.

He said it. “If you don’t beat the destructive amendments on the floor …  then you don’t ever get to a final vote. You’ve got to win the amendment fights.” – Former House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R OK-3rd), on the importance of defeating Farm Bill amendments that cut commodity programs and crop insurance.  Lucas currently is Chairman of the House Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee.

NAP program integrity debated at House hearing.  A congressional hearing on SNAP “program integrity” provided a snapshot of the debate over the most controversial aspect of the proposed House farm bill – that in order to receive benefits, all able-bodied adults between 18 and 59 years of age work or be in an approved training program for at least 20 hours per week.