The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday night to move ahead with House Resolution (HR) 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act, by a 239-184 vote. The measure, supported by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and other business groups from across the nation would limit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority over states’ control of their own water quality programs.
The measure would stop the EPA from issuing new water-quality standards for a given pollutant if the agency has already approved a state water-quality standard for the pollutant. A state can still agree on its own to be as stringent as the EPA under this authority. The measure also stops EPA from intervening in a state’s determination that a discharge into the environment will comply with applicable environmental standards. If the EPA has approved a state program under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, they cannot withdraw this approval simply because it and the state disagree.
The Kentucky Chamber sent letters in support of the resolution to the bill sponsors in June and continues to work with federal officials in Washington to support the proposal. The measure now moves on to the Senate for a full vote. To view the Kentucky Chamber’s letters of support click here.