On May 12, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1732) by a vote of 261 to 155. Introduced by Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster, the proposed legislation would prevent the implementation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently proposed rule regarding the Waters of the United States, and require that USACE develop a new rule.
A central issue for many of the supporters of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act is a concern that USACE’s currently proposed rule would dramatically expand the Clean Water Act to provide the Environmental Protection Agency with the power to regulate vast numbers of agricultural fields and ditches.
The House of Representatives passed similar legislation on September 9, 2014 (H.R. 5078), however, the bill stalled in the Senate. Significantly, the Obama administration has threatened to veto the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act if it were to reach the President’s desk.
Written by M. Sean High - Staff Attorney
Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
May 21, 2015