U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall challenges EPA water regulation - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall challenges EPA water regulation

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On June 11, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., challenged a proposed rulemaking expansion by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “waters of the United States.”

The definition would expand the agency’s Clean Water Act, permitting jurisdiction.

“The EPA likes to cultivate the impression that science and pragmatism govern the day and that is not swayed by ideology,” Rahall said in a news release. “I see an agency that is so hard over against coal that it will gloss over the science if doing so helps to stop the construction of coal-fire power plants.”

Robert Perciasepe, the Deputy EPA Administrator, and Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, both testified at Wednesday’s hearing on the proposed regulatory change that has received criticism from a wide range of stakeholders, including the coal industry, farmers, home builders, and business groups.

“I have heard many times from proponents of this rule that the intention in crafting it was to provide certainty so that businesses and individuals, before setting off on some undertaking, would know whether or not they needed to go through the lengthy and expensive permitting process,” Rahall said. “On that score I have to give credit where credit is due. This proposal certainly does provide certainty — the certainty that if you want to undertake any activity whatsoever that may involve so much as a puddle, you must seek a permit.”