Amendment Text: H.Amdt.636 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (07/13/2011)

This Amendment appears on page H4986 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H4963-H4987]
             CLEAN WATER COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM ACT OF 2011

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 347 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 2018.

                              {time}  1429


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 2018) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to 
preserve the authority of each State to make determinations relating to 
the State's water quality standards, and for other purposes, with Mr. 
Poe of Texas in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Gibbs) and the gentleman from West 
Virginia (Mr. Rahall) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in strong support of H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative 
Federalism Act of 2011. Almost four decades ago, when it enacted the 
Clean Water Act, Congress established a system of cooperative 
federalism by making the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the 
EPA, and the States

[[Page H4964]]

partners in regulating the Nation's water quality and allocated the 
primary responsibilities for dealing with day-to-day water pollution 
control matters to the States.
  For most of these almost four decades, this system of cooperative 
federalism between the EPA and the States has worked quite well. 
However, in recent years, the EPA has begun to use questionable tactics 
to usurp the States' role under the Clean Water Act in setting water 
quality standards and to invalidate legally issued permits by the 
States. EPA has decided to get involved in the implementation of State 
standards, second-guessing States with respect to how standards are to 
be implemented and even second-guessing EPA's own prior determinations 
that the State standards meet the minimum requirements for the Clean 
Water Act. EPA has also inserted itself into the States and the Army 
Corps of Engineers' permit issuance decisions and the second-guessing 
State and other agencies' permitting decisions.
  The EPA's recent actions increasingly are amounting to bullying the 
States and are unprecedented. H.R. 2018 was introduced to clarify and 
restore the longstanding balance that had existed between the States 
and the EPA as coregulators under the Clean Water Act and to preserve 
the authority of States to make determinations relating to their water 
quality standards and permitting. The bill was carefully and narrowly 
crafted to preserve the authority of States to make decisions about 
their own water quality standards and permits without undue 
interference on second-guessing from EPA bureaucrats in Washington with 
little or no knowledge of local water quality conditions.
  The legislation reins in EPA from unilaterally issuing a revised or 
new water quality standard for a pollutant adopted by a State and EPA 
already has approved a water quality standard for that pollutant. H.R. 
2018 restricts EPA from withdrawing its previous approval of a State 
NPDES water quality permitting program or from limiting Federal 
financial assistance for a State water quality permitting program on 
the basis that EPA disagrees with the State.
  Further, the bill restricts EPA from objecting to NPDES permits 
issued by a State. Moreover, the bill clarifies that EPA can veto an 
Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act section 404 permitting decision 
when the State concurs with the veto.
  These limitations apply only in situations where EPA is attempting to 
contradict and unilaterally force its own one-size-fits-all Federal 
policies on a State's water quality program. By limiting such 
overreaching by the EPA, H.R. 2018 in no way affects EPA's proper role 
in reviewing State permits and standards and coordination pollution 
control efforts between the States. EPA just has to get back to the 
more collaborative role it has long played as the overseer of the 
States' implementation of the Clean Water Act.
  Detractors of this legislation claim that the bill only intends to 
disrupt the complementary roles of EPA and the States under the Clean 
Water Act and eliminate EPA's ability to protect water quality and 
public health in downstream States from actions in upstream States. In 
reality, these detractors want to centralize power in the Federal 
Government so it can dominate water quality regulation in the States. 
Implicit in their message is that they do not trust the States in 
protecting the quality of their waters and the health of their 
citizens.
  This bill returns the balance, certainty, and cooperation between the 
States and the Federal Government in regards to the environment that 
our economy, job creators, and permit holders have been begging for. 
Well over 100 organizations representing a wide variety of public and 
private entities support this legislation. Just to name a few, these 
organizations include the National Association of State Departments of 
Agriculture, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Mining 
Association, the National Water Resources Association, the U.S. Chamber 
of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National 
Association of Homebuilders, and the Associated General Contractors of 
America.

                                                    July 12, 2011.
     Hon. John Boehner,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.


  Urging Swift Passage of the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act 
                              (H.R. 2018)

       Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi: The 
     undersigned 121 organizations, representing a broad cross-
     section of the American economy, are united in their strong 
     support for the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (H.R. 
     2018), a bipartisan bill passed by the House Transportation 
     and Infrastructure Committee on June 22.
       The bill would reaffirm the decades-old state-federal 
     relationship set out in the Clean Water Act (CWA) by 
     addressing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 
     ongoing regulatory overreach. We urge all House members to 
     vote for passage of this important legislation when it is 
     considered on the House floor later this week.
       H.R. 2018 has important job creation, economic security, 
     and federalism implications. Over the years, EPA has 
     repeatedly challenged states' authority and expertise under 
     the CWA and asserted its control as the sole arbiter of 
     evolving CWA permitting requirements and standards. The 
     agency's actions jeopardize more than $220 billion of annual 
     economic activity subject to CWA Sec. 402 and 404 permits.
       H.R. 2018 would help put people back to work and create new 
     jobs in the sectors our members serve by restoring the proper 
     balance between EPA and the states in regulating the nation's 
     waters, protecting the CWA's system of cooperative 
     federalism, and preventing EPA from second-guessing or 
     delaying a state's CWA permitting and water quality 
     certification decisions.
       We urge swift enactment of H.R. 2018 and look forward to 
     working with you to accomplish that important objective.
       Sincerely,
         Agricultural Retailers Association; Alabama Cattlemen's 
           Association; American Concrete Pavement Association; 
           American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association; American 
           Farm Bureau Federation; American Rental Association; 
           American Road & Transportation Builders Association; 
           American Sugarbeet Growers Association; Arizona Farm 
           Bureau Federation; Arizona Rock Products Association; 
           Associated Equipment Distributors; The Associated 
           General Contractors of America; Association of 
           Equipment Manufacturers; Buckeye Valley Chamber of 
           Commerce; Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley; 
           Chemical Producers & Distributors Association; Colorado 
           Cattlemen's Association; Colorado Livestock 
           Association; CropLife America; Dairy Producers of New 
           Mexico; Deep South Equipment Dealers Association; 
           Delaware State Chamber of Commerce; Edison Electric 
           Institute; Equipment Distributors Association of 
           Minnesota; Far West Equipment Dealer Association.
         Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association; The Fertilizer 
           Institute; Florida Cattlemen's Association; Florida 
           Sugar Cane League; Georgia Construction Aggregate 
           Association; Georgia Mining Association; Greater 
           Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; Greater Pittsburgh Chamber 
           of Commerce; Idaho Cattle Association; Illinois 
           Association of Aggregate Producers; Illinois Chamber of 
           Commerce; Illinois Coal Association; Industrial 
           Minerals Association--North America; Iowa Cattlemen's 
           Association; Iowa Limestone Producers Association; 
           Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association; Kansas 
           Aggregate Producers Association; Kansas Livestock 
           Association; Kansas Ready Mixed Concrete Association; 
           Kentucky Association of Manufacturers; Kentucky Chamber 
           of Commerce; Kentucky Coal Association; Kentucky 
           Crushed Stone Association, Inc.; Lodi Chamber of 
           Commerce; Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
         Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce; Michigan Aggregates 
           Association; Mid-America Equipment Retailers 
           Association; Midwest Equipment Dealers Association; 
           Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Association; 
           Missouri Cattlemen's Association; Montana Equipment 
           Dealers Association; Montana Stockgrowers Association; 
           National Asphalt Pavement Association; National 
           Association of Home Builders; National Association of 
           Manufacturers.
         National Cattlemen's Beef Association; National Corn 
           Growers Association; National Milk Producers 
           Federation; National Mining Association; National Pork 
           Producers Council; National Precast Concrete 
           Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; 
           National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association; National 
           Water Resources Association; Nebraska Cattlemen, Inc.; 
           North American Equipment Dealers Association; North 
           Dakota Implement Dealers Association; Northeast 
           Equipment Dealers Association, Inc.; NUCA Representing 
           Utility and Excavation Contractors.
         Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association; Ohio 
           Chamber of Commerce; Ohio Equipment Distributors 
           Association; Ohio-Michigan Equipment Dealers 
           Association; Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association; Pacific 
           Northwest

[[Page H4965]]

           Hardware & Implement Association; Palm Desert Area 
           Chamber of Commerce; Pennsylvania Aggregates and 
           Concrete Association; Pennsylvania Cattlemen's 
           Association; Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and 
           Industry; Portland Cement Association; Public Lands 
           Council; Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment; 
           Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce; Simi Valley 
           Chamber of Commerce; South Dakota Agri-Business 
           Association; South Dakota Cattlemen's Association; 
           South East Dairy Farmers Association; SouthEastern 
           Equipment Dealers Association; South Western 
           Association; Tennessee Concrete Association; Tennessee 
           Road Builders Association; Texas and Southwestern 
           Cattle Raisers Association.
         Texas Cattle Feeders Association; Tucson Metropolitan 
           Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Cattlemen's Association; U.S. 
           Chamber of Commerce; United Egg Producers; USA Rice 
           Federation; Utah Cattlemen's Association; Utah Farm 
           Bureau Federation; The Utah School and Institutional 
           Trust Lands Administration; Utah Wool Growers 
           Association; Virginia Agribusiness Council; Virginia 
           Grain Producers Association; Virginia Poultry 
           Federation; Washington Aggregates & Concrete 
           Association; Washington Cattlemen's Association; 
           Washington Farm Bureau; West Virginia Chamber of 
           Commerce; West Virginia Coal Association; West Virginia 
           Manufacturers Association; Western Business Roundtable; 
           Wyoming Ag Business Association; Wyoming Crop 
           Improvement Association; Wyoming Stock Growers.
                                  ____

                                                     American Farm


                                            Bureau Federation,

                                    Washington, DC, July 13, 2011.
     Hon.___
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Rep. ___ The American Farm Bureau Federation, the 
     nation's largest general farm organization representing 
     farmers and ranchers in every state and Puerto Rico, strongly 
     supports H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism 
     Act of 2011. This legislation restores the historic Clean 
     Water Act balance and partnership between the federal 
     government and states.
       H.R. 2018 limits the Environmental Protection Agency's 
     (EPA) ability to arbitrarily issue revised or new water 
     quality standards if a state has adopted, and EPA has already 
     approved, a standard that protects water quality, unless the 
     state concurs with the new standard. This important 
     legislation protects states and permit holders and maintains 
     the successful partnership between states and the federal 
     government in a way that protects water quality and fosters 
     an environment for economic growth and job creation.
       Farm Bureau believes this legislation significantly 
     improves the accountability of EPA. Farm Bureau opposes 
     amendments expected to be offered by Reps. Russ Carnahan (D-
     Mo.), Gerald Connolly (D-Va.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), 
     Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and any 
     other amendments that would weaken the legislation.
       Farm Bureau strongly supports H.R. 2018 and urges you to 
     vote in favor of its passage.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Bob Stallman,
     President.
                                  ____

                                            Chamber of Commerce of


                                 the United States of America,

                                    Washington, DC, July 13, 2011.
       To the Members of the House of Representatives: The U.S. 
     Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation 
     representing the interests of more than three million 
     businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and 
     region, strongly supports H.R. 2018, the ``Clean Water 
     Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011,'' which would restore the 
     historic balance and partnership between the federal 
     government and the states in the administration of the 
     ``Clean Water Act (CWA).'' The Chamber strongly opposes 
     several amendments that would weaken this important 
     legislation, and supports an amendment that would improve 
     accountability at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
       The Clean Water Act grants states the primary 
     responsibility for protecting water quality. However, recent 
     actions by the EPA upset and supplant this partnership with 
     arbitrary federal power that is being exercised even over 
     states with effective delegated regulatory programs. 
     Individuals and firms that meet the requirements of, and 
     obtain permits from, state regulators ought not to be left 
     exposed to the enforcement whim and caprice of the federal 
     government.
       H.R. 2018 would prevent EPA from issuing a revised or new 
     water quality standard if a state has adopted--and EPA has 
     already approved--such a standard, unless the state concurs 
     with the new standard. The bill would also prohibit EPA from 
     superseding a water quality certification granted by a state 
     under CWA Sec. 401, limit EPA's ability to withdraw approval 
     of a state water quality permitting program under CWA 
     Sec. 402, and limit EPA's ability to object to a state's 
     issuance of a pollutant discharge permit or to veto dredge 
     and fill permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers.
       H.R. 2018 would protect states and their permittees from 
     federal bureaucratic overreach, allow flexibility in the 
     administration of approved permitting programs, and restore 
     the successful partnership between states and the federal 
     government to protect water quality throughout the nation.
       The Chamber strongly opposes amendments expected to be 
     offered by Reps. Carnahan, Connolly, Jackson Lee, Polis and 
     Markey. Each amendment would significantly weaken, gut, or 
     impair this important legislation.
       In addition, the Chamber supports an amendment expected to 
     be offered by Rep. Capito that would require EPA to more 
     fully assess the economic and employment impacts of 
     regulations it promulgates. This amendment would be an 
     important step towards improving accountability at EPA. 
     Moreover, the amendment would complement provisions of 
     existing law, including Clean Air Act section 321, requiring 
     an analysis of job losses that EPA has historically ignored.
       The Chamber strongly supports H.R. 2018 and urges you to 
     vote in favor of this legislation. The Chamber will consider 
     including votes on or in relation to H.R. 2018--including 
     votes on the Capito amendment and several weakening 
     amendments--in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
           Sincerely,
     R. Bruce Josten.
                                  ____

         The National Association of State Departments of 
           Agriculture,
                                    Washington, DC, July 11, 2011.
     Hon. John Boehner,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi: The 
     National Association of State Departments of Agriculture 
     (NASDA) writes in support of the ``Clean Water Cooperative 
     Federalism Act'' (H.R. 2018). This bipartisan legislation, 
     introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee 
     Chairman John Mica and Ranking Member Nick Rahall, re-affirms 
     the decades-old state-federal relationship set out in the 
     Clean Water Act (CWA) by addressing the Environmental 
     Protection Agency's (EPA) ongoing regulatory overreach. We 
     urge all House members to vote for passage of this important 
     legislation when it is considered on the House floor this 
     month.
       The CWA established an effective framework in which the 
     states and the federal government work together to ensure the 
     protection of our nation's waters. However, over a number of 
     years, EPA has eroded states' authority under the CWA, 
     questioned the expertise and integrity of state regulatory 
     officials and attempted to assert control as the sole arbiter 
     of CWA permitting requirements and standards. As the top 
     agriculture officials in the states, NASDA members have seen 
     firsthand the impacts that occur when EPA undermines these 
     state programs.
       H.R. 2018 would help restore the proper balance between EPA 
     and the states in regulating the nation's waters, protecting 
     the CWA's system of cooperative federalism, and preventing 
     EPA from second-guessing or delaying a state's CWA permitting 
     and water quality certification decisions.
       We urge swift enactment of H.R. 2018 and look forward to 
     working with you to accomplish that important objective.
           Sincerely,
                                                 Stephen Haterius,
     Executive Director.
                                  ____

                                              Louisiana Department


                                    of Agriculture & Forestry,

                                   Baton Rouge, LA, July 11, 2011.
     Hon. John Boehner,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi: Recently, 
     the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set strict water 
     quality standards for nitrogen and phosphorus in Florida 
     waters, leading many agriculture organizations to express 
     concern over EPA's approach. A study by the Florida 
     Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the 
     University of Florida estimates that the requirements being 
     imposed by EPA in Florida will cost the state's economy in 
     excess of $1 billion.
       Louisiana is currently facing a similar threat. A petition 
     originally filed July 30, 2008, by the Minnesota Center for 
     Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), Natural Resources Defense 
     Council, the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy 
     Center, the Midwest Environmental Advocates and the Gulf 
     Restoration Network, among others, asked EPA to set 
     nationwide numeric water quality standards for nitrogen and 
     phosphorous, as well as a nutrient pollution loading plan or 
     total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Mississippi River and 
     the Gulf of Mexico.

[[Page H4966]]

       Agriculture is the largest sector of our state's economy. 
     Agriculture, forestry and aquaculture comprise over 85 
     percent of the surface area of this state, 9.7 percent of our 
     work force, and over 243,000 jobs. Valued at more than $30 
     billion, agriculture and forestry combined make up the most 
     economically dependent industry in Louisiana. If Louisiana is 
     forced to comply with these actions, we are certain that 
     Louisiana agriculture cannot meet the EPA nutrient criteria 
     requirements without the implementation of costly edge-of-
     farm water detention and treatment that would severely impact 
     our ability to produce safe food and fiber for our citizens.
       Louisiana agriculture and forestry is proactive in 
     addressing water quality concerns. Scientifically based best 
     management practices (BMPs) have been developed and are being 
     implemented through the Louisiana Master Farmer Program and 
     the Louisiana Master Logger Program. These practices are 
     targeted at reducing the generation and delivery of 
     pollutants into the air and waters of the state, specifically 
     those targeted in the state TMDL program. Our Louisiana 
     Master Farmer Program is firmly rooted in state law, is 
     backed by sound science, and is a critical component of 
     Louisiana's overall water resource management program.
       The original intent of the Clean Water Act (CWA) was to 
     establish an effective framework in which the states and the 
     federal government work together to ensure the protection of 
     our nation's waters. However, over a number of years, EPA has 
     eroded the states' authority under the CWA, questioned the 
     expertise and integrity of state regulatory officials, and 
     attempted to assert control as the sole arbiter of CWA 
     permitting requirements and standards.
       The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 (H.R. 
     2018), bipartisan legislation introduced by Transportation 
     and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica and Ranking 
     Member Nick Rahall, re-affirms the decades-old state-federal 
     relationship set out in the CWA by addressing the EPA's 
     ongoing regulatory overreach. 1 urge all House members to 
     vote for passage of this important legislation when it is 
     considered on the House floor this month.
       H.R. 2018 would help restore the proper balance between EPA 
     and the states in regulating the nation's waters, protecting 
     the CWA's system of cooperative federalism, and preventing 
     EPA from second-guessing or delaying a state's CWA permitting 
     and water quality certification decisions.
       We stand ready to assist in water quality efforts in 
     Louisiana; however, we feel that: 1) Louisiana should be 
     allowed to exercise the authority envisioned by the CWA to 
     develop its own water quality standards and implement them 
     through an EPA approved and predictable process governed by 
     existing state law; 2) decisions should be based on good 
     science; 3) efforts must be sensitive to economic costs to 
     producers; and 4) consideration must be given to the overall 
     impact to the economic health of farm-based communities where 
     agriculture is the economic base of these communities.
       Along with the National Association of State Departments of 
     Agriculture (NASDA), I support the ``Clean Water Cooperative 
     Federalism Act.'' We urge swift enactment of H.R. 2018, and 
     look forward to working with you to accomplish this important 
     objective.
           Respectfully submitted,
                                                      Mike Strain,
                                                     Commissioner.

  I urge passage of H.R. 2018, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in support of H.R. 2018. For far too many years now, my State 
and others throughout the Appalachian region that produce coal to power 
our Nation have been struggling under the weight of an uncertain 
Federal permitting process. That uncertainty has left coal miners and 
mining communities living in an untenable limbo. The result has been a 
creation of an atmosphere of worry, of distrust, and of bitterness.
  I had hoped that under this administration, we would finally find our 
way to some clarity and common ground. Unfortunately, that has not been 
the case. Rather than bringing sides together and fostering balance, 
the EPA's actions in recent months have widened the division. They have 
spurred the tension of divided opinion over surface coal mining to 
fracture what should be a cooperative relationship among the Federal 
and State agencies with permitting responsibility.
  Not only is the EPA reaching into the Clean Water Act authorities 
under the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers; it is also reaching 
into the States and attempting to control their water protection 
programs. Opponents of this legislation will argue that the EPA does 
not have statutory authority to limit or otherwise supersede the 
authority of the States to issue water quality permits under the Clean 
Water Act, section 401. But that lack of statutory authority has not 
prevented them from trying to do so. In its very first official step to 
change the rules of surface mine permitting, on June 11, 2009, the EPA 
entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Army Corps of 
Engineers and the Interior Department. It states: ``EPA will improve 
and strengthen oversight and review of water pollution permits for 
discharges from valley fills under CWA section 402, and of State water 
quality certifications under CWA section 401, by taking appropriate 
steps to assist States to strengthen State regulation, enforcement, and 
permitting of surface mining operations under these programs.''
  The agency may claim that it is only following the law and 
``assisting'' the State, but the reality is that agency is strong-
arming the States, just as it is muscling in on the jurisdiction of 
other agencies. By creating wholly new criteria and new timeliness for 
Clean Water Act permits and stubbornly insisting, from on high, that 
the States adhere to them, the EPA is imposing its own will and its own 
interpretations of water quality standards on the States. It has drawn 
a line in the sand, and it is daring the States to cross over it.
  To my mind, the most logical solution would be for all sides to come 
together. The Federal agencies ought to work together in cooperative 
partnership with the States. That was the vision of the CWA, and that's 
the goal of H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 
2011.
  Mr. Chairman, I think we would all prefer not to have to craft this 
kind of legislation. Certainly it would be preferable that agencies 
work with each other, with the States, and within the confines of their 
statutory authority. It would be better if they followed the rules and 
did not try to change the law through guidance and MOUs. But when they 
do so, when they abuse their powers, Congress has the constitutional 
responsibility to serve as a check on them. This is clearly such a 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Mica).
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Gibbs) and 
also the ranking member of the full committee, the gentleman from West 
Virginia (Mr. Rahall), for their leadership on this issue. I am pleased 
to be a sponsor of this legislation.
  I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2018. We call this the Clean 
Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. It is, indeed, a bipartisan 
effort. It has broad support from both Republicans and Democrats. It is 
a measure to restore some balance between the EPA, our Federal 
regulatory body that oversees the Clean Water Act, and our States, 
which are responsible for implementation of some of the important work 
that ensures that we have clean water.

                              {time}  1440

  Now, I know there is no one that wants to in any way degrade the 
quality of clean water, that wants to lower standards for emissions, 
you know, that is not a good steward of our environment. But there is 
no question that the action that we've seen from EPA has unleashed an 
unprecedented backlash. Everyone has called this a huge power grab by 
EPA. And EPA has indeed created a regulatory nightmare that affects 
almost every State in the Union.
  Our goal here is to assure that the Federal Government sets standards 
and that we do have a proper role for implementing the Clean Water Act. 
And once States have taken action, have their plans approved, that 
there can be some sense of reliability and stability in the decision 
that EPA has concurred with. What we've seen now is EPA changing the 
rules after States have had a commitment and outline of the protocols 
that they must follow, raising complete havoc. In fact, the agency's 
actions could jeopardize more than $220 billion worth of annual 
economic activity which is subject to the Clean Water Act section 402 
and 404 permits.
  So again, this is almost an unprecedented regulatory grab, creating a 
potential nightmare, leaving projects on hold. And these projects have 
not only an environmental impact, but they also have a job and 
employment and economic impact in the United States at a very difficult 
time for our economy.

[[Page H4967]]

  This bill has been very narrowly drafted to preserve the authority of 
States to make decisions about protecting water quality in their 
States, and to again impose some restrictions on EPA in this overreach 
and to try to prohibit some of the second-guessing or delays of 
actually implementing a State's water quality permitting process and 
the standards and decisions that they have made under the Clean Water 
Act. This is also all done after, again, EPA has already approved a 
State's program. So we have great concerns about what's taking place.
  The impact isn't just Florida. I have a couple of articles here I 
will refer to. The reaction in the Sunshine News, which is published 
throughout Florida, our former U.S. Representative who served in this 
House, who is now the agriculture commissioner in Florida, he released 
a statement saying that EPA essentially ignores concerns about the 
effect implementation would have on Florida's economy. He supports a 
bipartisan effort to again back up the new rules with sound science.
  So whether it's Florida, or--here's a Fox News report relating to 
Appalachia that says, ``Appalachian Coal Miners Say EPA Rules Are 
Killing Their Jobs.'' Another article in The Florida Times-Union, 
``Scientists: EPA `Race' to Protect Florida Rivers Could Leave Science 
Behind.''
  So we join a chorus of numerous organizations. Mr. Gibbs talked about 
them. We have, again, a huge number of organizations, the U.S. Chamber 
of Commerce, American Farm Bureau, the National Mining Association, 
Associated Equipment Distributors, the Associated General Contractors 
of America, National Association of Manufacturers, groups from labor 
and others who also believe that this is an EPA overreach and will have 
a negative effect, both--and what we are hoping to achieve, again with 
having the States properly implement clean water regulations--but also 
a very negative impact on employment at a very precarious time in the 
economy of this Nation.
  So I urge support of our bipartisan effort, and I ask my colleagues 
to support this bill.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
Member from New York (Mr. Bishop), the ranking subcommittee member on 
our Water Resources Committee.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. I thank the ranking member for yielding me 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2018, the Clean 
Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. Despite some of the arguments 
I have heard in favor of this legislation, H.R. 2018 has not been 
narrowly crafted to address issues related to nutrient criteria and 
surface coal mining. I echo the administration's opposition to this 
bill when I say that H.R. 2018 would significantly undermine the Clean 
Water Act and could adversely affect public health, the economy, and 
the environment.
  While proponents of this legislation argue that the changes to the 
clean water permitting structure are targeted to address the 
development of nutrient criteria, such as in the State of Florida, the 
fact that this legislation is drafted to include any pollutant means 
that its reach extends to any discharge from any point source in any 
water body in the United States.
  Under this legislation, EPA would also be prohibited from 
recommending stricter discharge standards for toxic pollutants such as 
lead or mercury, even if the protection of human health is at stake, 
unless the State consents to such changes. In my view, this policy does 
not move our Nation forward, but rather reverses our direction and 
moves our Nation back 40 years to before the enactment of the Clean 
Water Act.
  Some of my friends would like to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach 
to regulating clean water. I would too. Luckily for us, the basic 
structure of the Clean Water Act already provides States enormous 
flexibility in setting water quality standards. Current law allows 
States to assume authority over day to day implementation of State 
permitting programs, and allows States to implement more stringent 
controls on pollution within their borders. The Clean Water Act merely 
sets the baseline minimum standard for water quality.
  Prior to the Clean Water Act establishing a baseline, 70 percent of 
the Nation's waters were unsafe for fishing, swimming, or drinking. We 
are now at 30 percent of our waters in such a condition. And I very 
much doubt that any reasonable person would want to return to the days 
of 70 percent.
  Some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have argued that 
this legislation is necessary because State authority to implement 
clean water programs is much improved since 1972, and States will do 
the right thing in protecting water quality. I agree that individual 
States have increased their capacity to protect the water quality 
within their States. However, I think it is also fair to suggest that 
the Clean Water Act has been essential to this Nation's efforts to 
double the number of waters meeting the fishable and swimmable standard 
since enactment of this statute in 1972.
  In my view, elimination of the EPA's oversight and authority for 
minimum standards would allow a potential race to the bottom for the 
establishment of pollution discharge limits within a State border. We 
have seen disputes between States such as Arkansas and Oklahoma, or 
North Carolina and Tennessee. Among States like Alabama, Georgia, and 
Florida, the potential opportunities for one State to send its 
pollution downstream to another State are real and needs to be 
prevented.
  Mr. Chairman, the role that Congress established for the EPA in the 
Clean Water Act has served our Nation well for almost 40 years. It has 
protected public health, and it has been an effective mechanism to 
protect the many businesses and industries that rely on clean water.
         Executive Office of the President, Office of Management 
           and Budget,
                                    Washington, DC, July 12, 2011.

Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2018--Clean Water Cooperative 
          Federalism Act (Rep. Mica, R-FL, and 39 Cosponsors)

       The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 2018 because it 
     would significantly undermine the Clean Water Act (CWA) and 
     could adversely affect public health, the economy, and the 
     environment.
       Under the CWA, one of the Nation's most successful and 
     effective environmental laws, the Federal Government acts to 
     ensure safe levels of water quality across the country 
     through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since the 
     enactment of the CWA in 1972, the Federal Government has 
     protected the waterways our citizens depend on by using its 
     checks and balances authority to review and adjust key State 
     water pollution control decisions, where necessary, to assure 
     that they reflect up to date science, comply with the law, 
     and protect downstream water users in other States. H.R. 2018 
     would roll back the key provisions of the CWA that have been 
     the underpinning of 40 years of progress in making the 
     Nation's waters fishable, swimmable, and drinkable.
       H.R. 2018 could limit efforts to safeguard communities by 
     removing the Federal Government's authority to take action 
     when State water quality standards are not protective of 
     public health. In addition, it would restrict EPA's authority 
     to take action when it finds that a State's CWA permit or 
     permit program is inadequate and would shorten EPA's review 
     and collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers on permits 
     for dredged or fill material. All of these changes could 
     result in adverse impacts to human health, the economy, and 
     the environment through increased pollution and degradation 
     of water bodies that serve as venues for recreation and 
     tourism, and that provide drinking water sources and habitat 
     for fish and wildlife.
       H.R. 2018 would disrupt the carefully constructed 
     complementary CWA roles for EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, 
     and States in protecting water quality. It also could 
     eliminate EPA's ability to protect water quality and public 
     health in downstream States from actions in upstream States, 
     and could increase the number of lawsuits challenging State 
     permits. In sum, H.R. 2018 would upset the CWA's balanced 
     approach to improve water quality across the Nation, risking 
     the public health and economic benefits of cleaner waters.
       If the President is presented with this legislation, his 
     senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
                                  ____

                                                U.S. Environmental


                                            Protection Agency,

                                    Washington, DC, June 21, 2011.
     Hon. Tim Bishop,
     U.S. House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Congressman Bishop: Thank you for the letter dated 
     June 17th regarding H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative 
     Federalism Act. Attached, please find EPA's legal analysis of 
     this legislation.

[[Page H4968]]

       If you have any further questions, please feel free to 
     contact me at (202) 564-4741.
           Sincerely,

                                                Arvin Ganesan,

                                    Deputy Associate Administrator
     for Congressional Affairs.
                                  ____



                   Technical Assessment of H.R. 2018

     The bill would overturn almost 40 years of Federal 
         legislation by preventing EPA from protecting public 
         health and water quality.
       This bill would significantly undermine EPA's longstanding 
     role under the CWA to assure that state water quality 
     standards protect clean water and public health and comply 
     with the law. It would fundamentally disrupt the Federal-
     State relationship outlined in the 1972 CWA and would hinder 
     the federal government's ability to ensure that states 
     protect interstate waters at a common level. This could lead 
     to upstream states implementing standards that degrade waters 
     in downstream states.
       This bill would prevent EPA from taking action without 
     state concurrence even in the face of significant scientific 
     information demonstrating threats to human health or aquatic 
     life.
       This bill would unnecessarily delay EPA approval of new or 
     revised State water quality standards, even where there are 
     no concerns, and could lead to a higher rate of EPA 
     disapprovals.
     The bill would prevent EPA from providing its views on 
         whether a proposed project that pollutes or even destroys 
         lakes, streams, or wetlands would violate CWA standards.
       This bill would limit EPA from meeting its current CWA 
     responsibility to facilitate disputes between States as to 
     whether permit conditions protect water quality in all 
     affected States.
       This bill would restrict EPA from providing its views on 
     proposed permits or taking necessary action under existing 
     law to protect public health and water quality.
     The bill would remove EPA's existing state coordination role 
         and eliminate the careful Federal/State balance 
         established in the current CWA.
       Removing EPA's program oversight role is likely to reduce 
     the quality of state-issued permits and may likely increase 
     the number of lawsuits by citizens and environmental groups. 
     This would shift the dispute resolution process from a 
     productive state-EPA dialogue toward adversarial litigation.
       Restricting EPA's authority to ensure that states implement 
     their programs as approved may lead states to reduce the 
     protection they provide to their waters, thereby leading to a 
     ``race to the bottom'' that jeopardizes water quality and 
     human health.
     The bill would prevent EPA from protecting communities from 
         unacceptable adverse impacts to their water supplies and 
         the environment caused by Federal permits.
       This legislation would remove EPA's ability to take action 
     to protect communities from projects approved by the Corps of 
     Engineers that would have unacceptable adverse effects to our 
     nation's waters and public health. This would fundamentally 
     disrupt the balance established by the original CWA in 1972--
     a law that carefully constructed complementary roles for EPA, 
     the Corps, and states.
       EPA has only used its CWA Section 404(c) authority 13 times 
     in the nearly 40-year history of the CWA.
     This bill would substantively eliminate the opportunity for 
         EPA, the federal government's expert on water quality, to 
         comment on Federal permits impacting water quality and 
         public health.
       This bill would greatly limit EPA's ability to provide 
     constructive and expert comments to the Corps on Section 404 
     permit applications. The bill would reduce the quality of 
     information available to EPA and the time available to review 
     it, resulting in more frequent EPA objections based on lack 
     of information and unnecessary delays in the permitting 
     process.
       This provision would require the Corps to adopt, through 
     regulation, a more complex permitting process, which would 
     add work for the Corps and uncertainty for applicants.
     ``. . . the Administrator may not promulgate a revised or new 
         standard for a pollutant in any case in which the State 
         has submitted to the Administrator and the Administrator 
         has approved a water quality standard for that pollutant, 
         unless the State concurs with the Administrator's 
         determination that the revised or new standard is 
         necessary to meet the requirements of this Act.''
       This provision would significantly undermine EPA's ability 
     to ensure that state water quality standards are adequately 
     protective and meet Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements. It 
     would fundamentally change the Federal-State relationship 
     outlined in the 1972 CWA and would hinder the federal 
     government's ability to ensure there is an equitable level of 
     protection provided to our nation's waters.
       The bill would generally prevent EPA, without State 
     concurrence, from taking action to revise outdated State 
     water quality standards. It also would prevent EPA from 
     replacing difficult-to-implement narrative water quality 
     criteria with more protective and easier to implement numeric 
     water quality criteria. EPA would not be able to take action 
     to promulgate new or revised WQS without State concurrence 
     even in the face of significant scientific information 
     demonstrating threats to human health or aquatic life.
       This bill would slow the process by which EPA approves new 
     or revised State water quality standards. If EPA were 
     prevented from taking action to replace outdated standards, 
     EPA Regions would need additional time in their review of new 
     or revised state water quality standards. EPA would also be 
     more likely to disapprove state standards if it was precluded 
     from taking action to ensure their protectiveness in the 
     future.
     ``With respect to any discharge, if a State or interstate 
         agency having jurisdiction over the navigable waters at 
         the point where the discharge originates or will 
         originate determines under paragraph (1) that the 
         discharge will comply with the applicable provisions of 
         sections 301, 302, 303, 306, and 307, the Administrator 
         may not take any action to supersede the determination.''
       This subsection would prevent EPA from ``superseding'' a 
     State certification under Section 401 of the CWA, which 
     applies to Federal licenses or permits. The meaning, context, 
     and application of the word ``supersede'' is ambiguous.
       Because of the provision's uncertain scope, it has the 
     potential to prevent EPA from fulfilling its CWA 
     responsibility to facilitate disputes between States as to 
     the effectiveness of permit conditions in protecting all 
     affected States' water quality.
       This provision may reflect a misunderstanding of EPA's 
     recent actions with respect to CWA Sections 401 and 404. EPA 
     formally deviates from a State-issued 401 certification very 
     sparingly. With respect to Section 404 permitting for 
     Appalachian surface coal mining operations, EPA has provided 
     comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with respect to 
     EPA's water quality concerns. However, EPA has not taken 
     formal action to ``supersede'' the State certification, so 
     the practical effect of this provision is unclear.
     ``The Administrator may not withdraw approval of a State 
         program under paragraph (3) or (4), or limit Federal 
         financial assistance for the State program, on the basis 
         that the Administrator disagrees with the State 
         regarding--
     ``(A) the implementation of any water quality standard that 
         has been adopted by the State and approved by the 
         Administrator under section 303(c); or
     ``(B) the implementation of any Federal guidance that directs 
         the interpretation of the State's water quality 
         standards.''
       This provision takes a significant step toward eliminating 
     the requirement that states implement water quality standards 
     in their NPDES permits, which is a critical tool in ensuring 
     that our nation's waters remain fishable and swimmable.
       The process of approving state NPDES programs is intended 
     to ensure that they implement the minimum requirements 
     specified in the CWA, thereby ensuring a more-or-less level 
     playing field. Restricting EPA's authority to ensure that 
     states implement their programs as approved could lead to a 
     race to the bottom as each state seeks to ensure that their 
     program is no more stringent than the least stringent state 
     program.
       The term ``implementation of any water quality standard'' 
     is significantly ambiguous and would likely lead to 
     litigation. This term could include a variety of functions, 
     such as implementing state water quality standards in NPDES 
     permits, implementing applicable Total Maximum Daily Loads 
     (TMDLs), ensuring that states meaningfully implement their 
     narrative water quality standards, or taking enforcement 
     action.
       States rely to varying degrees on narrative water quality 
     standards, which are a practical solution to the 
     infeasibility of developing a numeric standard for every 
     pollutant of concern. EPA approval of narrative standards 
     would be hampered if EPA could not then ensure their 
     effective and meaningful incorporating into permits.
       EPA is unclear about the practical effect of this 
     provision. EPA has not withdrawn approval of a state program 
     for the reasons outlined above for a significant period of 
     time.
     ``The Administrator may not object under paragraph (2) to the 
         issuance of a permit by a State on the basis of--
     ``(A) the Administrator's interpretation of a water quality 
         standard that has been adopted by the State and approved 
         by the Administrator under section 303(c); or
     ``(B) the implementation of any Federal guidance that directs 
         the interpretation of the State's water quality 
         standards.''
       This provision would prevent EPA from objecting to permits 
     that fail to implement significant provisions of the CWA. 
     EPA's role in overseeing State CWA programs--a role dating 
     back to 1972--serves a critical purpose by promoting national 
     consistency and encouraging productive dialogue between EPA 
     and states before permits are issued.
       Removing EPA's oversight role is likely to reduce the 
     quality of state-issued permits and would likely increase the 
     number of lawsuits by citizens and environmental groups to 
     remedy these inadequate permits. This would shift dispute 
     resolution from a generally productive state-EPA working 
     relationship to an adversarial litigation-driven process.
       This provision appears to be motivated by a fundamental 
     misunderstanding of EPA's recent actions with respect to 
     Appalachian surface coal mining. EPA has not formally 
     interpreted state narrative water quality standards or 
     directed a specific interpretation of those state standards. 
     Therefore, the

[[Page H4969]]

     practical impact of this provision is questionable.
     Section 404(c): ``Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any permit 
         if the State In which the discharge originates or will 
         originate does not concur with the Administrator's 
         determination that the discharge will result in an 
         unacceptable adverse effect as described in paragraph 
         (1).''
       This legislation would prevent EPA from taking action to 
     protect the nation's aquatic resources from unacceptable 
     adverse effects on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds 
     and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas without 
     concurrence from the state. This would fundamentally disrupt 
     the structure established by the original CWA in 1972--a law 
     that carefully constructed complementary roles for EPA, the 
     Corps, and the states.
       EPA uses Section 404(c) as the action of last resort when 
     no other approach works to prevent unacceptable impacts. EPA 
     must follow a highly deliberative process (including an 
     opportunity for significant public comment) in exercising its 
     ultimate environmental review authority over CWA Section 404 
     permitting--and this authority only applies in cases where an 
     activity will result in specific and severe adverse 
     environmental effects.
       EPA has only used its CWA Section 404(c) authority 13 times 
     in the nearly 40-year history of the CWA, and EPA reserves 
     use of this authority for only the most unacceptable cases. 
     EPA's use of Section 404(c) has protected more than 73,000 
     acres of wetlands and more than 30 miles of streams from 
     unacceptable adverse impacts.
      In 2008, the Bush Administration used Section 404(c) to 
     protect over 67,000 acres of wetlands in Mississippi--some of 
     the richest wetland and aquatic resources in the Nation. This 
     area includes a highly productive floodplain fishery, highly 
     productive bottomland hardwood forests, and important 
     migratory bird foraging grounds.
      Similarly in 1990, the first Bush Administration used 
     Section 404(c) to protect a portion of the South Platte River 
     in Colorado which has extraordinary aquatic resource values 
     and supports an outstanding recreational fishery which the 
     State of Colorado designated a ``gold medal'' trout stream.
       Many projects result in effects that cross state lines. In 
     these cases, this bill would contribute to confusion as to 
     which state must ``concur'' and could result in a situation 
     where another State would unfairly bear the environmental 
     costs associated with an activity.
       States already have a powerful tool under Section 401 of 
     the CWA to prevent projects from violating state water 
     quality standards, and they are already provided an important 
     role in EPA's Section 404(c) process.
     ``The Administrator and the head of a department or agency 
         referred to in paragraph (1) shall each submit any 
         comments with respect to an application for a permit 
         under subsection (a) or (e) not later than the 30th day 
         (or the 60th day if additional time is requested) after 
         the date of receipt of an application for a permit under 
         that subsection.''
       This subsection would significantly reduce the opportunity 
     for public and interagency participation in the Corps' 
     Section 404 permitting process, especially by EPA.
       For EPA, the agency entrusted with primary authority to 
     implement the CWA, this bill would severely limit EPA's 
     ability to provide constructive, informed comments to the 
     Corps. Without access to complete information and adequate 
     time to review and comment, EPA would be severely restricted 
     in carrying out its CWA responsibilities.
       Reducing the quality of information available to EPA and 
     the time available to review it , would result in more 
     frequent EPA objections based on lack of information, and 
     unnecessary delays to the applications as the Corps works 
     with the applicant to address EPA and others' less-informed 
     comments.
       This legislation would disrupt the current mechanism by 
     which the Corps receives comments from federal agencies and 
     the public. Implementing this legislation would require 
     agencies to submit comments after the Corps receives an 
     application, regardless of whether the application is 
     complete. This would require the Corps to make changes to its 
     regulations that would create a more complex permitting 
     process, thereby adding work for the Corps and adding 
     uncertainty for applicants as they navigate a less 
     straightforward permitting process.

                              {time}  1450

  Mr. GIBBS. I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Shuster).
  Mr. SHUSTER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I rise in strong support of H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative 
Federalism Act of 2011.
  As a member of the Water Subcommittee and cosponsor of this bill, I 
applaud Chairman Mica, Chairman Gibbs, and Ranking Member Rahall for 
bringing forward this important bipartisan legislation.
  H.R. 2018 seeks to reverse the erosion of the States' authority and 
partnership with the Federal Government under the Clean Water Act. This 
well-established and effective partnership has come under increasing 
attack by the EPA under the Obama administration, and the EPA has 
progressively undermined the States' shared regulatory authority.
  Our bill preserves the system of cooperative federalism established 
under the Clean Water Act, and in which the primary responsibilities 
for water pollution control are allocated to the States.
  The bill restrict's EPA's ability to second-guess or delay a State's 
permitting in water quality certification decisions under the CWA once 
the EPA has already approved a State's program. We must put an end to 
the EPA's one-size-fits-all, and the economy stifling agenda.
  This bill ensures a commonsense regulatory regime that protects our 
environment while at the same time protecting our Nation's farmers, 
miners, and other businesses critical to our economy.
  This bill addresses one of the many areas in which the EPA has 
overstepped its authority and taken actions that are deeply hurtful to 
our economy.
  In my State of Pennsylvania, the EPA has increased its interference 
with the Commonwealth to unprecedented levels, creating numerous delays 
and problems for the Commonwealth and our Department of Environmental 
Protection, with no scientific basis or environmental payoff.
  I received copies of numerous letters from the Pennsylvania DEP 
Secretary Krancer to the EPA citing EPA's interference and 
unwillingness to collaborate with the State on the issues that they 
have led on for three decades.
  The first example is regarding the National Pollutant Discharge 
Elimination System, or the NPDES, permits, which has been a problem 
with several States in addition to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania DEP has 
had the primary authority over the NPDES permitting program since 1984, 
and the EPA has just recently started to interfere in the Pennsylvania 
program, specifically in mining-related permits.
  The EPA has specifically increased their permit review of mining-
related permits under a new guidance, which relies on unsettled 
science. This is causing long delays in the permitting process with no 
environmental benefit and is costing Pennsylvania jobs and economic 
benefits.
  The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed a 
resolution stating the EPA is overstepping DEP without any Federal 
legislative or regulatory changes to support this increased oversight. 
This resolution reasserts Pennsylvania's primary role over the NPDES 
permitting in the State.
  The EPA has refused to work with the Pennsylvania Department of 
Environmental Protection on Chesapeake Bay issues to address several 
problems with the EPA's model that do not accurately reflect 
Pennsylvania's unique issues. A letter from Secretary Krancer to Lisa 
Jackson states, ``PA DEP and our municipality stakeholders have been 
frustrated with EPA's continued failure to acknowledge the challenge of 
Pennsylvania's unique municipal structure. Pennsylvania does not agree 
the TMDL development effort has been collaborative.''
  Again, there was an EPA letter to the DEP citing DEP's concerns with 
the State's handling of wastewater for the Marcellus drilling, 
excessively overstepping the DEP, criticizing their approach, and 
demanding to direct Pennsylvania's sampling and monitoring programs. It 
seems the EPA is listening more to The New York Times than the State 
regulatory agencies that are actually regulating and monitoring the 
issues on the ground.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. SHUSTER. The EPA, along with other Federal agencies, continues to 
grab for more authority, overriding long-standing State policies and 
roles in regulating oil and gas exploration and environmental 
protection, in particular States such as Pennsylvania, with long-
standing and respected programs.
  The EPA needs to back off. Pennsylvania issues are completely 
different than Texas issues, and no one knows Pennsylvania or wants to 
protect Pennsylvania better than the State agencies working to protect 
it.

[[Page H4970]]

  I strongly support H.R. 2018 and, again, congratulate Mr. Gibbs on a 
job well done on this legislation.

     The General Assembly of Pennsylvania--House Resolution No. 87


                              a resolution

       Urging the Environmental Protection Agency to stop its 
     unlawful application of the Guidance Memo relating to the 
     Federal Water Pollution Control Act, which is a substantive 
     change to the permitting procedure conferred on the states, 
     and restore the regulatory environment that existed prior to 
     the release of the Guidance Memo.
       Whereas, Under section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution 
     Control Act (62 Stat. 1155, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1342), National 
     Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are 
     typically issued by states for discharge of nondredged and 
     nonfill material; and
       Whereas, Once the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
     approves a state permitting program, the state has exclusive 
     authority to issue NPDES permits; and
       Whereas, Through a 1991 Memorandum of Agreement executed 
     between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the EPA, the 
     Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was identified 
     as the lead agency with exclusive authority for administering 
     and granting NPDES permits for mining-related activities in 
     this Commonwealth; and
       Whereas, In September 2010, the EPA informed the DEP that 
     it was altering the Commonwealth's administration of its 
     permitting program and would conduct its own additional 
     review of NPDES permits; and
       Whereas, This abrupt change in the Commonwealth's 
     permitting process was not the result of any accompanying 
     Federal statutory or regulatory changes; and
       Whereas, As a result of this change, the DEP is required to 
     provide the EPA's Region 3 field office with all pending 
     mining-related NPDES permit applications, whose activity will 
     either discharge into the Monongahela River or into any 
     designated total maximum daily load impaired stream for its 
     independent review; and
       Whereas, The EPA's Region 3 field office is not 
     sufficiently staffed to perform these types of reviews in a 
     timely manner, causing indefinite delays in the permitting 
     process; and
       Whereas, The EPA's objections to the issuance of these 
     permit applications vary, but generally are based on what the 
     Federal agency perceives are inconsistencies between the 
     applications and an interim final Guidance Memo that the EPA 
     released in April 2010, designed to provide a framework for 
     regional reviews of surface mining projects in Appalachia 
     based on conductivity levels it associated with adverse 
     impacts to streams; and
       Whereas, Although the stated intent of the Guidance Memo is 
     to limit its applicability to surface mining projects only, a 
     number of the permits being delayed in this Commonwealth are 
     for activities other than this type of mining; and
       Whereas, The Guidance Memo is based on flawed studies 
     with limited application and unconfirmed conclusions that 
     cannot be used to develop a predictive cause and effect 
     relationship between the EPA's established benchmark 
     threshold for conductivity levels and healthy streams in 
     this Commonwealth; and
       Whereas, Despite the representation that the Guidance Memo 
     is an interim document, it nevertheless is applied by the EPA 
     in a binding manner in its current version, even though the 
     EPA continues to receive comments on it; and
       Whereas, The EPA's application of the Guidance Memo 
     constitutes a substantive change in the basic application of 
     the permitting process; and
       Whereas, By substituting the issuance of agency guidance 
     for formal rulemaking, the EPA circumvents the clear 
     requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (60 Stat. 
     237, 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) for public notice and comments; 
     and
       Whereas, This unnecessary extended review of NPDES permit 
     applications by the EPA has led to a significant backlog of 
     permits that could result in coal contracts being lost, 
     mining jobs being destroyed and this Commonwealth losing its 
     major source of affordable and reliable electric generation; 
     Therefore be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives of the 
     Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urge the Environmental 
     Protection Agency to stop its unlawful application of the 
     Guidance Memo relating to the Federal Water Pollution Control 
     Act, which is a substantive change to the permitting 
     procedure conferred on the states, and restore the regulatory 
     environment that existed prior to the release of the Guidance 
     Memo; be it further
       Resolved, That the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reassert 
     its rightful role as the sole agency with permitting 
     authority of mining-related National Pollutant Discharge 
     Elimination System permits; and be it further
       Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the House of 
     Representatives transmit a copy of this resolution to the 
     Governor of Pennsylvania, the Environmental Protection Agency 
     Administrator and all members of the Pennsylvania 
     Congressional Delegation.

  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
member of our Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden).
  Mr. HOLDEN. I thank my friend from West Virginia for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2018. The Clean Water 
Act created a partnership between the States and the Federal Government 
to keep our waterways healthy. However, the EPA has repeatedly tried to 
impose Federal standards on individual States.
  In Pennsylvania, the EPA imposed an unachievable one-size-fits-all 
standard for water quality that ignores the economic concerns of our 
farmers, energy producers, small businesses, and local governments. 
This could cost Pennsylvania thousands of jobs and threaten our energy 
production.
  This bill restores the balance between the States and the EPA as 
coregulators under the Clean Water Act. States and local governments 
are dependent upon Congress to remove regulatory roadblocks to economic 
growth and job creation in local communities while protecting our vast 
natural resources. This legislation is essential to providing much-
needed certainty to support investment that will create jobs in 
American mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and related industries 
that have borne the brunt of EPA's regulatory overreach and 
interference with State Clean Water Act permits.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge adoption of the resolution.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. 
Guinta).
  Mr. GUINTA. I want to thank Subcommittee Chairman Gibbs for yielding 
me time to speak on this bill. I would also like to thank both Chairman 
Mica and Ranking Member Rahall for working in a bipartisan way to 
address this very important issue.
  Mr. Chairman, the first bill that I authored when I came to Congress 
was the Great Bay Community Protection Act, just a smaller and more 
focused version of a bill in the House that this bill is addressing 
today, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011.
  I am proud to be a cosponsor of H.R. 2018. I think this bill amends 
the CWA to preserve the authority of each State to make determinations 
relating to the State's water quality standards and to restrict EPA's 
ability to second-guess or delay a State's permitting and water quality 
certification decisions under the CWA in several important respects.
  This legislation will help seven communities in my State of New 
Hampshire save $250 million in ensuring that we focus on clean water 
standards, but allowing the State to do so in a timely manner.
  I strongly urge passage of this legislation.
  Mr. RAHALL. I am honored to yield 1 minute to another distinguished 
member of our T Committee, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Altmire).
  Mr. ALTMIRE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this bipartisan bill, 
which was crafted and introduced with job protection and regulatory 
clarity as its top priorities.
  The Clean Water Act originally created a working relationship between 
the Federal Government and the States. But recently that relationship 
has been undermined by unnecessary intervention by the EPA.
  When the government imposes impossible standards on job creators, the 
entire economy suffers. Businesses go through rigorous processes to 
receive permits from State governments to proceed with work that 
creates jobs and provides revenue to local governments, only to be 
undercut at the last minute by EPA regulations that do not take into 
account local context or economic impact.
  My colleagues should vote ``yes'' on this bill to prevent this 
further EPA overreach.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina 
(Mr. Coble).
  Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I come to the floor today to express strong support for 
H.R. 2018. I commend Chairman Mica and Ranking Member Rahall for their 
hard work in crafting a bill that brings back a sane balance between 
the States and Federal regulators.
  By the EPA's own admission, Mr. Chairman, current regulations will 
cost the United States $109 billion by the end of year 2020. In areas 
of the Sixth District of North Carolina, EPA currently has the ability 
to second-

[[Page H4971]]

guess or delay the State's Clean Water Act permits, even though it has 
already approved the State's program.
  It is furthermore important to note that the American Farm Bureau 
Federation, as the gentleman from Ohio previously mentioned, strongly 
supports this legislation that I believe we need to keep the EPA off 
the family farm.

                              {time}  1500

  Current EPA regs will have a disastrous effect on farmers and quarry 
owners and will add tremendous costs and delays to commercial, 
residential, and infrastructure projects.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge passage of H.R. 2018.
  Again, I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, I am happy to yield 4 minutes to a former 
member of our Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, now a member 
of the Ways and Means Committee, the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. 
Blumenauer).
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Still a member in my heart, of the Transportation 
Committee, Mr. Rahall. I appreciate your courtesy in permitting me to 
speak on this.
  I've been listening to debate on the floor, and I really could not 
disagree more with the proponents of this legislation. They would seek 
to overturn a 40-year record of trying to get people to follow the law. 
Look at the record of what States have done over the course of the last 
100 years dealing with water quality. And it isn't that the Federal 
Government overreached and the States had done too much. We have the 
Clean Water Act because the States consistently failed to meet their 
obligations.
  Today, there are wide variations around America in terms of how 
zealously individual States take their responsibility and how they 
balance. There's tremendous pressure for short-term economic gain at 
the expense of the environment. And in some parts of the country, it 
doesn't bother them to bulldoze mountaintops into streams. And, in 
fact, EPA has not been vigilant in dealing with that. It's only been 
recently that we are starting to have people come to grips with this 
issue.
  It is important that EPA has the opportunity to withhold--to have 
some sanction--when States don't follow through on their plans. This 
bill would take away the ability of EPA to have sanctions. It's 
important that we have a third party to be able to do some mediation 
when there are differences between States. This is not something that 
is confined to Pennsylvania or West Virginia or Oregon, because our 
waterways are interconnected. They transcend boundaries. We need to 
have the Federal Government making sure that, at a minimum, there are 
reasonable standards that are enforced and that the plans that one 
administration on a State level commits to are actually followed 
through.
  You don't have to spend very much time on Google to find out that 
there are places around the country right now where local authorities 
and where State authorities are not meeting the highest standards of 
water quality.
  I strongly suggest that this is a step backward. Luckily, it's not 
going to be enacted into law. The administration would veto it. I can't 
imagine it gets very far in the other body.
  Frankly, looking at the list of the organizations, the list that was 
cited of the people who support this, they are not the people who have 
championed clean water. They're the people that want looser 
restrictions, that want to be able to pollute more, and that want to be 
able to make their own decisions. But the people who care about fish 
and wildlife, the people who care about environmental protection, and 
the people who care first about the health and welfare of the American 
public, they are uniformly opposed to this legislation.
  Mr. Chairman, this is important business. There are economics 
involved with protecting the environment. In State after State, there's 
a lot of money to be made by having healthy hunting and fishing. There 
is money to be saved by having healthy waterways and healthy 
communities. And if we don't stop the pollution in the first place, 
then that puts the burden on local communities to spend more on water 
quality and water treatment.
  I strongly suggest my colleagues take a hard look at the history of 
the last 40 years. Look at the uneven application of the Clean Water 
Act at the State level. Look at how a judicious approach on the part of 
the Federal Government has helped promote compliance. Even the so-
called veto power of EPA has been invoked only 13 times in 38 years.
  This is a bad bill. It should be rejected.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, I am ready to close. As we have no further 
requests on my side under general debate, I will give my closing 
comments now.
  How much time do I have remaining, Mr. Chairman?
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from West Virginia has 17\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. RAHALL. This is about the process, as I described in my opening 
comments, not the policy. This bill is not about whether the Members of 
this body support clean, safe water. We all support clean, safe water. 
I do not know a single Member in this House that wants to turn back the 
clock on the gains that this Nation has made in the last 40 years to 
clean up our rivers and streams. This bill is about process and 
precedent. It is about whether we should be allowing one Federal agency 
to run roughshod over the law, over the States, and over other Federal 
agencies to set policy according to political ideology. Now, I do not 
think we should be allowing any agency of our Federal Government to be 
run in that manner.
  If this Congress allows the EPA to push the envelope in circumventing 
the law, in circumventing public comment and public participation, it 
lays the legal groundwork for the next administration to do the exact 
same thing--maybe under the guise of cleaner air and cleaner water, 
maybe under the guise of lowering those standards. But the precedent 
that would be set could be devastating. By not taking action, the 
Congress is tacitly giving the EPA the authority to do what it deems 
politically necessary, and that is something that this and every 
Congress has the responsibility to resist.
  So this bill, Mr. Chairman, is not about whether any Member in this 
institution supports the ends that the EPA is trying to reach. It is 
about whether or not we believe that we should be allowed to use any--
any--means to reach those ends. And I do not believe they should.
  There are plenty of Members on this floor today who believe that the 
intentions of the EPA with respect to its mission to ensure clean water 
are noble. I put myself in that category. But we all have to worry when 
an agency goes to such lengths to circumvent the Congress and the 
rulemaking process so as to impose its own agenda, because after the 
next election or the election after that or the election after that, 
some future EPA may not have such noble intentions. And if we fail to 
stand up today, we will suffer the consequences of our inaction later.
  This bill is about transparency. It does not tell the EPA they cannot 
effect improvements in water quality. It says that they cannot do it 
without letting the people--the people--have a voice in the process. 
That's the way the rulemaking process is intended to work. But this EPA 
has effectively thwarted that process and thumbed its nose at the 
people by issuing guidance and treating it like regulation.
  As I said in my opening comments, I wish we were not here on this 
bill today. I wish it would not be necessary. I would much rather see a 
cooperative Federal relationship among the agencies and the Federal 
agencies with the States and with the industries involved, but that has 
not occurred. And, therefore, it has created an era of mistrust, 
distrust, and bitterness, an outright scared attitude among our coal 
miners whether or not they will have a job next year or even tomorrow 
and for how long their current job will last.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I do conclude by speaking in support of this 
legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1510

  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio has 12 minutes remaining.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I think what this bill is addressing, we 
have 21st century problems and challenges, and we are looking for 21st 
century solutions. I want to lay out the facts to have a little more 
clarity, and I appreciate my colleague from West Virginia's support of 
the bill.

[[Page H4972]]

  We have to realize that the State EPAs have to have an approved plan 
by the Federal EPA. That is the framework that they are working under, 
and you just can't have the Federal EPA come in during the ball game 
and try to change the rules and undermine the efforts of the State 
EPAs.
  I want to comment regarding the gentleman from Oregon's comments that 
we are going to go backwards and we have made progress in the last 40 
years, and the States didn't do anything in the last 40 years or 
before. Let's remember what happened prior to 1972.
  I grew up 12 miles from the city of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River. 
I remember when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. I remember as a 
child when I couldn't go down and swim in Lake Erie any more because 
raw sewage was going into Lake Erie. Those events caused this Congress 
to pass the Clean Water Act and establish the U.S. EPA and also give 
authority for the States to set up their programs. Prior to that, 
nobody was concerned about the environment and we didn't have the so-
called environmental movement where we are all concerned about having 
clean water.
  Since then, we have made tremendous progress. On point-source 
pollution, we have made tremendous progress. On discharges, we don't 
have the discharges going into our lakes and rivers and streams like we 
did 40 years ago. We have made significant progress addressing 
nonsource-point pollution. Now, that is not to say that we don't have 
more challenges.
  I want to talk about one size fits all, and the U.S. EPA has an 
agenda right now that is overreaching. They want to set policies and 
parameters that fit for everybody to work under. I will give you an 
example. The numerical nutrient standard, and let's take phosphorus and 
nitrogen. You hear a lot about phosphorus sediment pollution in our 
lakes and rivers. To go in there and set a number, a numerical number 
that they can't exceed that, discharge at that level, causes some 
problems.
  For the last 40 years, we have been operating under something called 
the narrative standard. States can go in there and look at what is 
going on in that watershed or that stream or that river. I can tell 
you, in every river and stream in this country, there are different 
things happening. The biology is different. The pH is different. The 
water temperature, water flow is different. The sunlight. A whole host 
of things. They can incorporate that and come up with a plan on how to 
address that in their local locale.
  When you set a number at such a high level, it creates a situation 
where the States can't attain it; it's not possible. We have seen that 
happen in Florida, and that is why Florida has litigation pending 
because they set one size fits all. Whereas Florida, ironically, was 
moving to a point to set a numerical standard, but they wanted to 
address and incorporate what I call the narrative standard so they 
could address what is happening in each locale and not a huge region to 
address those differences that are happening in that stream or that 
river. So one size fits all doesn't work. It causes problems, and it 
will make us to go back, impacting the progress we've made in the last 
40 years.
  Now, in this bill we also talk about the permitting issue. One of the 
most egregious things that I have seen since I have been in Congress 
since January was a revocation of a permit. Yes, it was in West 
Virginia. It was a coal mine operation that went through 10 years of an 
environmental impact study, got their permit in 2007, and then 3 years 
later the permit was revoked, not because they were in permit 
violation. The Army Corps of Engineers testified in my committee that 
there were no problems. The State, West Virginia EPA didn't support 
revoking that permit. I really don't know why they revoked that permit 
other than it was maybe on an agenda of somebody. But they were not in 
violation of the permit.
  It is one thing to revoke a permit when you are in violation of a 
permit, but when you are not in violation of the permit, to take that 
permit away, it sets a very dangerous precedent; because the dangerous 
precedent it sets across our entire economy, if you're an entity or an 
enterprise and you have to have a permit from the Federal Government to 
be in business, and if that Federal Government at the whim of some 
bureaucrat or the administration comes and pulls that permit any time 
they want to, who is going to risk capital and make that investment, 
create jobs, knowing that they could be shut down tomorrow because the 
permit is not there to stay in business?
  That is what this bill addresses. They have to get concurrence. The 
U.S. EPA would have to get concurrence from the State EPA to support 
that revocation to shut that business down.
  So this is really a jobs bill. We are trying to relieve uncertainty 
so people know what the playing field is. I can tell you, I think the 
State EPAs can do a better job in their locales, because they know what 
is going on there, than to have a one-size-fits-all policy by the 
Federal Government and an overreaching and burdensome regulatory 
climate that kills jobs, kills economic investment, and, like I said, 
kills jobs.
  So that is why I think it is important to move this bill forward. 
This is a jobs bill.
  We have sent several bills over to the Senate that are jobs bills. I 
urge the Senate to take them up because we have unemployment at 9.2 
percent and rising.
  I think it is important for people to have an opportunity to have a 
job and economic opportunities. We need the Federal Government to 
create the environment for what I call the job creators to have that 
confidence, to make those investments and start hiring people back and 
growing their businesses.
  This bill is really important to encourage cooperative arrangements 
working among the Federal EPA and the State EPAs.
  I was really floored in the committee hearings we had where we had 
State EPAs come in--and some of them were from the other side of the 
aisle from me--and testify against the Federal EPA on their actions and 
their overreach.
  You know, a strong economy--some people don't understand this, 
although I say this a lot. A strong and growing economy will provide 
the resources to invest and protect and enhance the environment. An 
economy that is struggling right now, it makes it tougher to have those 
resources. As an example, you look at some Third World countries where 
their biggest challenge is feeding their people, they don't have the 
resources to build sewage treatment plants and water filtration systems 
and do other things to protect the environment. We have the resources, 
and we have a strong, growing economy, and we should be working with 
those businesses because most businesses and most people want to do the 
right thing. Everybody wants clean water and clean air.
  So I take exception to the comments of my colleague from Oregon who 
said that we are not protecting the environment. I think a strong, 
growing economy does protect the environment, and I think the 
regulatory policies are in place at the State levels because the States 
are set up to do it now, different than 40 years ago, to regulate and 
also enforce environmental protection laws, whether it is mountaintop 
mining or whatever it is. We have the rules in place.
  In Ohio, when I was in the State Senate 2 years ago, we passed 
comprehensive legislation to add additional regulation on the oil and 
gas industry to protect our groundwater, our water aquifers, and our 
surface water. And we did.
  I am really encouraged now, the potential we have with the Utica 
shale and the Marcellus shale to make us closer to being energy 
independent and not dependent and shipping almost a trillion dollars a 
year away to other countries, some of which don't really like us very 
much. We have an opportunity to have a strong, growing economy and 
provide the energy, but also protect the environment at the same time. 
We just have the regulatory process in place, and I think this enables 
a stronger regulatory process because it emboldens the State EPAs to do 
their job and work cooperatively with their partners in Washington, 
D.C.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chair, today, the House is 
considering H.R. 2018, the so-called Clean Water Cooperative Federalism 
Act. This bill, which represents the latest attempt by the House to 
weaken the Environmental Protection Agency, could just as easily be 
called the ``Dirty Water Act.''

[[Page H4973]]

  Since 1972, the Clean Water Act, which is one of the nation's most 
successful and effective environmental laws, has protected the 
waterways Americans depend on for fishing, swimming, and clean drinking 
water. H.R. 2018 would overturn almost 40 years of federal protection 
by preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from safeguarding 
public health and protecting water quality. It also would undermine the 
agency's authority to ensure that state water quality standards comply 
with the law. What's at stake here is not federal oversight versus 
state's rights, but rather clean water versus dirty water.
  In case anyone is wondering why the Congress might consider such a 
bill, consider this example: coal companies want to conduct mountaintop 
removal mining in Appalachia and dump the waste they generate into 
Appalachia's streams and waterways. The EPA has rightly declined to 
classify this waste as fill material. Should the financial interests of 
a few coal companies outweigh the environmental and public health 
interests of the people of the entire region?
  Rather than weakening our federal clean water protection laws, we 
should be strengthening these laws to protect our oceans, rivers, lakes 
and streams. I urge my colleagues to vote against H.R. 2018.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to today's 
legislation, the so-called ``Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act,'' 
which represents another effort on the part of this Republican Majority 
to systematically dismantle environmental protections by eroding EPA 
authority under the Clean Water Act.
  The Clean Water Act is a partnership between federal and state 
authorities to maintain water quality standards across the nation. But 
it also provides a federal backstop if states cannot or will not 
effectively enforce those standards.
  As we all know, water does not stop at the state line. Policies in 
one state upstream will affect water quality in another downstream. 
This is a serious issue in my state of Maryland, where the Chesapeake 
Bay feeds from a watershed that includes six states and the District of 
Columbia. Inadequate environmental protection in any of those states 
can have grave consequences for the health of the nation's largest 
estuary.
  It is not difficult to imagine the costs of dismantling Clean Water 
Act authority. Prior to its enactment in 1972, our nation's waters were 
in crisis. Lake Erie could not support aquatic life. A floating oil 
slick on the Cuyahoga River caught fire. Industrial polluters used 
lakes and streams as dumping grounds for dangerous chemicals and two-
thirds of our nation's lakes, rivers, and coastal waters were unsafe 
for fishing or swimming.
  The Clean Water Act was a simple and powerful solution--a baseline 
for water quality with a federal safety net in the event of state 
inaction. For nearly 40 years, this approach has helped preserve access 
to safe water to all Americans. There is no reason or justification to 
roll back those protections today. I urge my colleagues to vote against 
this bill.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2018, 
which would be more appropriately titled the ``Giveaway to Developer 
and Coal Company CEOs Act.''
  This bill removes protections for our nation's waters that were 
absolutely essential to the progress we have shown so far in cleaning 
up Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes comprise 
21 percent of the world's fresh water supply. Lake Erie is the 
shallowest and smallest, and therefore the most vulnerable of the Great 
Lakes and it is our primary water source in Northeast Ohio. 'We cannot 
afford to go back to days when the Cuyahoga River caught fire because 
it was so polluted. Already, 77 percent of all stream-miles in the Lake 
Erie basin are unprotected.
  Lake Erie is not only crucial to our health, but to our economy. It 
generates 10 billion dollars per year in revenue through travel, 
tourism, wildlife watching, boating, sport and commercial fishing and 
other activities. One out of every ten jobs in the state is connected 
to Lake Erie. This economic activity generates 676 million dollars in 
federal tax revenue, 410 million dollars in state tax revenue and 347 
million dollars in local tax revenue annually. Lake Erie is our Golden 
Goose. We must protect it at all costs.
  This bill also removes the EPA's ability to clamp down on the worst 
mountaintop removal polluters. These coal mines, which remove entire 
mountains to get at the coal, are on their way out. There is no room in 
this country's energy portfolio for coal. Coal is a major contributor 
to the environmental, national security, and economic problem that is 
global warming. It would be difficult to underestimate the urgency of 
shutting down coal power plants immediately for that reason alone. But 
coal also devastates communities with open toxic waste holding ponds 
and with air emissions that create or exacerbate asthma and respiratory 
disorders. Coal mines kill its miners and leave them with Black Lung. 
Mountaintop removal fills streams and destroys entire ecosystems, 
contaminating drinking water supplies with carcinogens and other toxic 
chemicals in the process. Coal is the single biggest reason that so 
many of the fish species that were an important part of the diet for 
billions of people are contaminated with mercury levels that are so 
high, they can cause IQ loss and birth defects. This bill will take the 
woefully inadequate environmental protections in place and weaken them.
  Coal is not even defensible from an economic standpoint. More jobs 
are created by renewable energy creation, which is being explored in 
many mountaintop mining communities, than by coal-based energy.
  If communities, workers, the health of families, the ecosystems on 
which we rely, drinking water and atmospheric stability do not benefit 
from this bill, who does?
  Developers will be able to build in more areas that are critical for 
drinking water protection and protection from floods, even though we 
are now saddled with a surplus of housing and commercial unit 
availability because of the bursting of the housing bubble. And 
mountaintop removal mining companies will be able to spend even less on 
protecting the communities from which they siphon money, livelihoods, 
and health. Profits and shareholder returns, undoubtedly, will benefit 
handsomely.
  Bills like these take the wealth of this country and funnel it 
upward. I urge my colleagues to reject this bill.
  Mrs. ADAMS. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2018, the 
Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. The Clean Water Act was 
designed to be a partnership between the federal government and 
individual states to keep our nation's waterways healthy and safe. For 
too long, however, the Environmental Protection Agency has imposed 
burdensome regulations that harm job creation and are not realistic in 
implementation.
  Recently, Florida has been at the center of a fight over water 
quality standards with the EPA, a federal regulatory agency that has 
attempted to impose impractical federal water quality standards over 
the State's objections. Rather than adhering to the state-federal 
partnership originally established under the Clean Water Act, the EPA 
has repeatedly undermined that partnership to the detriment of states 
like Florida. Should their regulatory overreach be allowed to continue, 
tens of thousands of jobs throughout Florida would be affected, hurting 
both Central Florida families and small businesses.
  H.R. 2018 preserves the authority granted to each state by the Clean 
Water Act and halts the EPA's proposed ``numeric nutrient'' 
regulations. Congress has a responsibility to the states to ensure that 
regulations which hamper job growth and stifle our economy are removed. 
For these reasons, I am proud to support this much needed legislation.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to the bill before 
the House today. The authors of this bill call it ``The Clean Water 
Cooperative Federalism Act,'' but this legislation has nothing 
whatsoever to do with clean water. A better name for this bill is ``The 
Dirty Water Act.''
  In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio--one of the tributaries of the 
Great Lakes--caught fire, and became a symbol of everything that was 
wrong with the patchwork system of state water laws that existed at the 
time. Water pollution does not respect state boundaries and that 
patchwork of poorly enforced state laws nearly killed the Great Lakes 
and resulted in rivers and streams that were unfit to swim and fish in.
  In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act and replaced the state 
patchwork approach with a national system of water quality standards. 
The Clean Water Act has worked. Over the last four decades, we've made 
real progress in reducing water pollution and are well on the way to 
meeting the Act's goals of making our nation's waters fishable, 
swimmable, and drinkable.
  In my own District in Southeast Michigan, we've seen extraordinary 
progress in reducing water pollution. As just one example, in the 1970s 
and 1980s, the Clinton River was extraordinarily polluted. The River 
was dying and the beaches downstream on Lake St. Clair were unsafe for 
swimming. Thanks to the Clean Water Act and the work of many people at 
the local level, the Clinton River is making a comeback. Pollution is 
being steadily reduced. Fish are returning, and the river is once again 
becoming a recreational asset to the communities along its banks. There 
is more work to do, but the progress is there for all to see.
  The bill before the House goes in exactly the wrong direction. 
Instead of building on the Clean Water Act, this legislation takes us 
backwards to the bad old days when there was a patchwork of state water 
laws and little enforcement when state standards fell short. In 
particular, the bill would make it harder to take action against 
emerging threats to waterways. For example, for a number of years now, 
a large dead zone has formed each

[[Page H4974]]

summer in Lake Erie. The problem appears to be getting worse and it is 
not yet clear what steps will be necessary to combat it. Even now it is 
evident that we will need a coordinated plan of action involving many 
states, but this legislation will make taking concerted action that 
much more difficult.
  I urge defeat of this bad bill.
  Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Mr. Chair, for the last seven months this 
nation's economy has stagnated while the Republican majority has passed 
a litany of bills repealing environmental standards on behalf of oil 
and coal companies. Today we have another anti-environment bill before 
the House, predictably mis-named, in the finest Orwellian tradition, 
the ``Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act.'' This bill is a case 
study in irony: After seven months of blaming economic malaise on 
regulatory ``uncertainty,'' this bill would eliminate predictable and 
consistent national clean water standards in favor of an uncertain 
state-based patchwork of regulations. This bill would be more 
appropriately titled the ``Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Small Minds 
Act,'' because its elimination of any regulatory certainty flies in the 
face of seven months of Republican rhetoric. On the other hand, as an 
assault on the environment which benefits Republican campaign donors, 
it is utterly consistent with the majority's modus operandi.
  The majority claims to support an ``all of the above'' energy 
strategy, and that is accurate if we accept the Republican premise that 
coal and oil constitute the totality of America's energy portfolio. 
After passing countless bills to repeal clean air and water regulations 
for oil companies, this bill is focused on repealing clean water 
standards for the coal and mining industry. My colleagues who are not 
from Virginia, West Virginia, or Kentucky may not be familiar with the 
ravages of mountaintop removal, and if they aren't I would encourage 
them to look at a satellite photo of our region before they vote for 
this bill. Following Bush Administration abrogation of its 
responsibility to administer the Clean Water Act, destruction of the 
Southern Appalachian mountains has accelerated. For example, Wise 
County, Virginia has had 25 percent of its land area obliterated by 
mountaintop removal: According to the Nature Conservancy, Southwest 
Virginia is one of the two most biodiverse regions in America, along 
with Hawaii. Mountaintop removal is eliminating that region's 
biodiversity very efficiently. What used to be extraordinarily 
productive mountains in my state now resemble a moonscape of man-made 
plateaus and valleys filled in with rubble.
  The purpose of this bill is to prevent Clean Water Act regulation of 
those ``valley fills'' which mining companies use to dispose of former 
mountains. Valley fills should be a clear violation of the Clean Water 
Act, and under the Obama Administration the EPA and Army Corps have 
finally begun to comply with the law and regulate them. This 
legislation would block that federal regulation which is necessary to 
protect life and property in Southwest Virginia and other parts of 
Appalachia.
  This legislation would have other negative consequences beyond 
destroying one of America's greatest and most threatened regions. It is 
written in such a broad manner that it could allow unregulated 
destruction of intermittent and ephemeral streams, lakes and prairie 
potholes, and subterranean waters such as those that are common in 
places like Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. I strongly encourage my 
colleagues to reject this legislation.
  Mr. WEST. Mr. Chair, I rise to commend my colleague from Florida on 
his decision to withdraw his amendment to the Clean Water Cooperative 
Federalism Act.
  Like all Floridians, I want clean and safe water. However, the EPA's 
new Numeric Nutrient Criteria regulations are not over whether we want 
clean water for Florida; it is over how we reach that goal and at what 
cost.
  For several years now, Florida has been working to improve its water 
quality. Until 2009, Florida was working cooperatively with EPA to 
improve our water quality standards.
  However in 2009, in an attempt to settle a lawsuit brought by 
environmental groups, EPA decided to abandon that cooperative approach, 
federally preempt our state water quality standards, and impose new 
criteria on the state.
  Many are concerned that these new Numeric Nutrient Criteria are not 
based on sound science, including EPA's own Science Advisory Board, 
which has expressed serious concerns about the science used by EPA to 
support the regulation.
  The EPA has repeatedly refused to allow third-party review of the 
science behind the proposed mandate, and they have failed to complete 
an economic analysis.
  This EPA mandate will drive up the cost of doing business, double 
water bills for all Floridian families, and destroy jobs. By some 
estimates, this will cost Florida taxpayers an estimated $21 billion 
and impact over 14,000 jobs in the state.
  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection estimates that 
this federal mandate may force municipal wastewater and storm water 
utilities--many in my Congressional District--to spend as much as $26 
billion in capital improvements to upgrade their facilities. These 
costs will be passed down to the citizens of South Florida.
  Given the reality of Florida's economic situation, this is completely 
unacceptable.
  This morning I placed a call to Ron Bergeron, the Commissioner for 
the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and renowned 
expert on the Everglades, to discuss this amendment and the underlying 
EPA Numeric Nutrient Regulations.
  Commissioner Bergeron told me in no uncertain terms, I quote, ``The 
EPA is setting standards that can hardly be achieved. Water standards 
of 10 parts/billion required by the Numeric Nutrient Criteria is more 
stringent than rainwater, which is 15 parts/billion, and is a quality 
of water that is humanly impossible to achieve. EPA is doing things 
that could possibly shut down the State of Florida.''
  Let me repeat what Commissioner Bergeron stated--``EPA is doing 
things that could possibly shut down the State of Florida.''
  Like all Floridians, I cherish the Everglades--a unique wetland 
ecosystem--and want to protect and preserve it for future generations 
of Floridians.
  I applaud my colleague from Florida for recognizing that his 
amendment would have been an attempt to use the Everglades as a 
political pawn to give the EPA the authority to have carte blanche on 
setting state-wide water regulations--regulations that Commissioner 
Bergeron said are humanly impossible to achieve, and thus withdrawing 
his amendment.
  EPA's flawed regulation must be set aside so that the state 
government can return to an effort to improve Florida's water quality 
that is cooperative, economically feasible, and based on sound science.
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Chair, I rise today to voice my strong opposition 
to H.R. 2018, the so-called ``Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act.'' 
This bill is neither cooperative nor does it promote clean water.
  The American people expect and deserve protection from dirty air, 
tainted food, and polluted water. The problem with relinquishing 
federal authority over environmental regulations is that these threats 
don't stop at state borders. The EPA recently concluded an air 
pollution analysis demonstrating the upwind-downwind linkages between 
states. That study demonstrated that my home state of Illinois receives 
air pollution from more than 10 states as a result of wind patterns. 
Illinois shares water sources, including Lake Michigan and the 
Mississippi River, with 11 states. Much like with air, a patchwork of 
regulations will do nothing to ensure my constituents have access to 
clean water.
  H.R. 2018 removes any federal baseline for what constitutes a clean 
water program and leaves the process entirely under state control. It 
is a de facto repeal of the Clean Water Act.
  We know what will happen without reasonable oversight of our nation's 
water sources because we have seen it before. Prior to the 1972 Clean 
Water Act, American rivers and streams were treated like sewers and 
chemical pollution was so rampant that rivers caught fire. This bill 
would hand our waterways and drinking water sources back to corporate 
polluters.
  Promoters of corporate pollution regularly suggest that turning a 
blind eye to the destruction of our waterways, air supply, and food 
sources is in the economic best-interest of the country. Even if this 
were true, it would ignore the health and welfare of the American 
people. But it is not true. The Office of Management and Budget has 
demonstrated that the cost of implementing EPA rules over the last 
decade have cost as much as $29 billion, but the economic benefits of 
those regulations have reaped between $82 billion and $552 billion. The 
facts don't lie: EPA regulations save lives and stimulate economic 
growth.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in opposition to H.R. 2018, a bill 
that offers no tangible benefits and a litany of irreversible costs.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the amendment in the nature of a substitute 
printed in the bill shall be considered as an original bill for the 
purpose of amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered 
read.
  The text of the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute is 
as follows:

                               H.R. 2018

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Clean Water Cooperative 
     Federalism Act of 2011''.

[[Page H4975]]

     SEC. 2. STATE WATER QUALITY STANDARDS.

       (a) State Water Quality Standards.--Section 303(c)(4) of 
     the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
     1313(c)(4)) is amended--
       (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) as clauses 
     (i) and (ii), respectively;
       (2) by striking ``(4)'' and inserting ``(4)(A)'';
       (3) by striking ``The Administrator shall promulgate'' and 
     inserting the following:
       ``(B) The Administrator shall promulgate''; and
       (4) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A)(ii), the 
     Administrator may not promulgate a revised or new standard 
     for a pollutant in any case in which the State has submitted 
     to the Administrator and the Administrator has approved a 
     water quality standard for that pollutant, unless the State 
     concurs with the Administrator's determination that the 
     revised or new standard is necessary to meet the requirements 
     of this Act.''.
       (b) Federal Licenses and Permits.--Section 401(a) of such 
     Act (33 U.S.C. 1341(a)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(7) With respect to any discharge, if a State or 
     interstate agency having jurisdiction over the navigable 
     waters at the point where the discharge originates or will 
     originate determines under paragraph (1) that the discharge 
     will comply with the applicable provisions of sections 301, 
     302, 303, 306, and 307, the Administrator may not take any 
     action to supersede the determination.''.
       (c) State NPDES Permit Programs.--Section 402(c) of such 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 1342(c)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(5) Limitation on authority of administrator to withdraw 
     approval of state programs.--The Administrator may not 
     withdraw approval of a State program under paragraph (3) or 
     (4), or limit Federal financial assistance for the State 
     program, on the basis that the Administrator disagrees with 
     the State regarding--
       ``(A) the implementation of any water quality standard that 
     has been adopted by the State and approved by the 
     Administrator under section 303(c); or
       ``(B) the implementation of any Federal guidance that 
     directs the interpretation of the State's water quality 
     standards.''.
       (d) Limitation on Authority of Administrator To Object to 
     Individual Permits.--Section 402(d) of such Act (33 U.S.C. 
     1342(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(5) The Administrator may not object under paragraph (2) 
     to the issuance of a permit by a State on the basis of--
       ``(A) the Administrator's interpretation of a water quality 
     standard that has been adopted by the State and approved by 
     the Administrator under section 303(c); or
       ``(B) the implementation of any Federal guidance that 
     directs the interpretation of the State's water quality 
     standards.''.

     SEC. 3. PERMITS FOR DREDGED OR FILL MATERIAL.

       (a) Authority of EPA Administrator.--Section 404(c) of the 
     Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(c)) is 
     amended--
       (1) by striking ``(c)'' and inserting ``(c)(1)''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any permit if the 
     State in which the discharge originates or will originate 
     does not concur with the Administrator's determination that 
     the discharge will result in an unacceptable adverse effect 
     as described in paragraph (1).''.
       (b) State Permit Programs.--The first sentence of section 
     404(g)(1) of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(g)(1)) is amended by 
     striking ``The Governor of any State desiring to administer 
     its own individual and general permit program for the 
     discharge'' and inserting ``The Governor of any State 
     desiring to administer its own individual and general permit 
     program for some or all of the discharges''.

     SEC. 4. DEADLINES FOR AGENCY COMMENTS.

       Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 
     U.S.C. 1344) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (m) by striking ``ninetieth day'' and 
     inserting ``30th day (or the 60th day if additional time is 
     requested)''; and
       (2) in subsection (q)--
       (A) by striking ``(q)'' and inserting ``(q)(1)''; and
       (B) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(2) The Administrator and the head of a department or 
     agency referred to in paragraph (1) shall each submit any 
     comments with respect to an application for a permit under 
     subsection (a) or (e) not later than the 30th day (or the 
     60th day if additional time is requested) after the date of 
     receipt of an application for a permit under that 
     subsection.''.

     SEC. 5. APPLICABILITY OF AMENDMENTS.

       The amendments made by this Act shall apply to actions 
     taken on or after the date of enactment of this Act, 
     including actions taken with respect to permit applications 
     that are pending or revised or new standards that are being 
     promulgated as of such date of enactment.

  The CHAIR. No amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a 
substitute shall be in order except those printed in House Report 112-
144. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in 
the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered 
read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally 
divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be 
subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division 
of the question.

                              {time}  1520


          Amendment No. 1 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in 
House Report 112-144.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 3, strike line 3 and all that follows through line 8 
     on page 7.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Let me thank the chairman very much.
  I definitely support cooperation between the Federal Government and 
the State government. That is absolutely the best partnership and one 
that I encourage.
  Having been a member of the local city council of my own city of 
Houston, I also know that unfunded mandates are very much difficult to 
overcome. But I argue vigorously against the underlying legislation 
because it does equate to undermining the health of Americans. We need 
clean water, not dirty water.
  So this amendment strikes the entire legislation that causes us to 
ignore a partnership that has been established between the EPA, the 
Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Pollutant Discharge 
Elimination System, which is a State system. And to my count, some 47 
States have initially gotten into the system and have worked to ensure 
that they have clean water.
  Why do I suggest that this is a very challenging approach to take 
that the underlying legislation has? Because it prevents the EPA from 
taking actions to revise outdated State water quality standards. It 
makes a State the final arbiter of whether an NPDES permit, a license 
for better water quality, is in fact to be implemented so that one 
State may do something that impacts negatively on another State.
  These are the people we're concerned about: a working nurse and a 
healthy baby, or we are concerned about a gentleman by the name of Mr. 
Caldario, who is a resident of Crestwood, who indicated some years ago 
that he was worried about the water he drank for years without knowing 
what it was contaminated with--``Cancer Study Triggers Fears in 
Crestwood,'' which I will submit for the Record. His final sentence 
states, ``I can't help but wonder if what happened to me had something 
to do with the water.''
  My amendment is straightforward. It strikes the language of this 
bill. It says let's go back to the drawing table. I want to be able to 
help Members, but if you have 47 States that have been engaged in this 
process, let's find a way that we can come together and have clean 
water and not dirty water.
  This is a straightforward amendment that says that this is 
overreaching. The EPA would be prohibited from resolving conflicting 
State decisions on protecting water quality. Join me in supporting the 
Jackson Lee amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I wish to claim time in opposition.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GIBBS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  The intent of H.R. 2018 is to restore the balance between the States 
and the Federal Government in carrying out the Clean Water Act.
  This amendment simply strikes the entire bill, as she stated, and 
ensures that the EPA can continue to unilaterally force its own one-
size-fits-all Federal policies onto the States' water quality programs, 
which, by the way, they previously already approved.
  Under this amendment EPA will continue to pass unfunded mandates on 
to the States. It ensures that EPA issues interim guidance that 
frustrates States and permit applicants, and ensures that the EPA will 
continue their legally dubious activities of revoking already legally 
issued permits, as I stated earlier.
  I urge all Members to oppose this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the good intentions of the 
gentleman,

[[Page H4976]]

but I am concerned by the interpretation.
  Let me just share with you very briefly my own State. In my own 
State, I'm aware of how tributaries can impact the body of water they 
flow into. Currently there is a dead zone, an area of low oxygen where 
marine life cannot survive, in the Gulf of Mexico. This dead zone, 
estimated to reach 9,421 square miles, is due to increased levels of 
nitrogen and phosphorus that washed into the gulf from the Mississippi 
River and other tributaries. This legislation prevents the EPA from 
regulating criteria for pollutants that cause dead zones.
  We are the protectors of America's assets, its waterways, its 
drinking water, the ability to have the opportunity for clean water for 
our fish and fishing. I ask you, let's go back to the drawing board. If 
we have States that are already participating, let's demand, in an 
administrative process, for EPA to restrain itself, but let's not take 
away the underlying power that is going to allow us to have clean 
drinking water and for someone who lives in Crestwood to be able to be 
possibly cancer free.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of my amendment to H.R. 2018 ``The 
Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011.'' My amendment restores 
the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work with 
state governments to establish standards ensuring all Americans have 
access to clean and safe water.
  My amendment strikes the entire bill. The Clean Water Act (CWA) was 
designed to encourage collaboration between state agencies and the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to develop acceptable 
standards for maintaining the safety of our nation's bodies of water. 
The EPA was created in 1970 to ensure that our air, land, and water 
receive adequate protection from pollution and we must allow them to do 
so for the benefit of all Americans.
  The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act is absolutely not the way 
to protect our nation's water bodies. The EPA has the expertise and 
resources for research, standard-setting, monitoring and enforcement 
with regard to five environmental hazards: air and water pollution, 
solid waste disposal, radiation, and pesticides. EPA represents a 
coordinated approach to each of these problems.
  Seeking to limit the extent to which the EPA can oversee the safety 
of our water supply threatens the health of American citizens across 
the country. The EPA has not only the right, but the responsibility to 
update state water pollution regulations and permit procedures if they 
discover new threats to health or the environment.
  The EPA must remain involved in regulating water pollution to ensure 
a cohesive policy that protects all states from pollution. Should the 
authority to regulate water pollution levels be given solely to the 
states, there would be no way to regulate waterways that pass through 
multiple states.
  As a Representative from Texas, a Gulf Coast state, I am aware of how 
tributaries can impact the body of water they flow into. Currently, 
there is a dead zone, an area of low oxygen where marine life cannot 
survive, in the Gulf of Mexico. This dead zone, estimated to reach 
9,421 square miles, is due to increased levels of nitrogen and 
phosphorus that washed into the gulf from the Mississippi River and 
other tributaries. This legislation prevents the EPA from regulating 
criteria for pollutants that cause dead zones.
  My Republican colleagues feel we must pass this bill urgently. They 
will tell their constituents, and all of the American people that the 
Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act is necessary to issue permits 
and avoid backlog in mining facilities, factories, agriculture, and 
other businesses. What my friends on the other side of the aisle will 
not tell you is that this legislation is helping business at the risk 
of our nation's health.
  Those who support this bill will not mention that EPA regulation 
prevents toxic chemicals and biological agents from entering our 
surface water bodies and groundwater. Apparently, those championing 
this legislation do not feel the American people deserve to know the 
serious health risks that can result from drinking or bathing in 
polluted water. Breathing the vapors of a polluted water source, 
consuming meat or vegetables affected by polluted water, and consuming 
fish that have been exposed to polluted water are all potentially 
harmful.
  Mr. Chair, I offer this amendment to strike the entire Clean Water 
Cooperative Federalism Act to protect not only my constituents in the 
18th district of Texas, but Americans across the nation from the 
diseases that result from water pollution. Diseases such as typhoid, 
hepatitis, encephalitis, and others caused by pathogens in water.
  Surely the EPA, the states, and the industries involved can work 
together to prevent pollution levels in surface and groundwater from 
causing cancer, or serious damage to the liver, kidneys, nervous 
system, reproductive system, or endocrine system. Surely, we are not 
willing to sacrifice the health of this nation to pass a bill to 
benefit industry.
  A study conducted by Cornell University concluded that water 
pollution accounts for 80% of infectious diseases, and 5 million deaths 
per year. I urge my colleagues on either side of the aisle to consider 
the enormous gamble this Congress is taking by reducing regulations to 
keep our water safe.
  Supporting my amendment will strike the dangerous Clean Water 
Cooperative Federalism Act, and provide an opportunity for new 
legislation that fosters compromise between the EPA, the states, and 
stakeholders, without compromising water quality and endangering the 
health of American citizens.

            [From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency]

        National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

                                          SPECIFIC STATE PROGRAM STATUS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Approved      Approved to                        Approved       Approved
                                    State NPDES       Regulate      Approved State      General      Biosolids
              State                    Permit         Federal        Pretreatment       Permits       (Sludge)
                                      Program        Facilities         Program         Program       Program
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..........................  10/19/79       10/19/79         10/19/79          06/26/91
Alaska*..........................  10/31/08       10/31/08         10/31/08          10/31/08
American Samoa...................
Arizona..........................  12/05/02       12/05/02         12/05/02          12/05/02      04/01/04
Arkansas.........................  11/01/86       11/01/86         11/01/86          11/01/86
California.......................  05/14/73       05/05/78         09/22/89          09/22/89
Colorado.........................  03/27/75       ...............  ................  03/04/82
Connecticut......................  09/26/73       01/09/89         06/03/81          03/10/92
Delaware.........................  04/01/74       ...............  ................  10/23/92
District of Columbia.............
Florida..........................  05/01/95       05/01/00         05/01/95          05/01/95
Georgia..........................  06/28/74       12/08/80         03/12/81          01/28/91
Guam.............................
Hawaii...........................  11/28/74       06/01/79         08/12/83          09/30/91
Idaho............................
Illinois.........................  10/23/77       09/20/79         ................  01/04/84
Indiana..........................  01/01/75       12/09/78         ................  04/02/91
Iowa.............................  08/10/78       08/10/78         06/03/81          08/12/92
Johnston Atoll...................
Kansas...........................  06/28/74       08/28/85         ................  11/24/93
Kentucky.........................  09/30/83       09/30/83         09/30/83          09/30/83
Louisiana........................  08/27/96       08/27/96         08/27/96          08/27/96
Maine............................  01/12/01       01/12/01         01/12/01          01/12/01
Maryland.........................  09/05/74       11/10/87         09/30/85          09/30/91
Massachusetts....................
Michigan.........................  10/17/73       12/09/78         06/07/83          11/29/93      09/28/06
Midway Island....................
Minnesota........................  06/30/74       12/09/78         07/16/79          12/15/87
Mississippi......................  05/01/74       01/28/83         05/13/82          09/27/91
Missouri.........................  10/30/74       06/26/79         06/03/81          12/12/85
Montana..........................  06/10/74       06/23/81         ................  04/29/83
Nebraska.........................  06/12/74       11/02/79         09/07/84          07/20/89
Nevada...........................  09/19/75       08/31/78         ................  07/27/92
New Hampshire....................
New Jersey.......................  04/13/82       04/13/82         04/13/82          04/13/82
New Mexico.......................
New York.........................  10/28/75       06/13/80         ................  10/15/92
North Carolina...................  10/19/75       09/28/84         06/14/82          09/06/91
North Dakota.....................  06/13/75       01/22/90         09/16/05          01/22/90
Northern Mariana Islands.........
Ohio.............................  03/11/74       01/28/83         07/27/83          08/17/92      03/16/05
Oklahoma**.......................  11/19/96       11/19/96         11/19/96          09/11/97      11/19/96
Oregon...........................  09/26/73       03/02/79         03/12/81          02/23/82
Pennsylvania.....................  06/30/78       06/30/78         ................  08/02/91
Puerto Rico......................
Rhode Island.....................  09/17/84       09/17/84         09/17/84          09/17/84
South Carolina...................  06/10/75       09/26/80         04/09/82          09/03/92
South Dakota.....................  12/30/93       12/30/93         12/30/93          12/30/93      10/22/01
Tennessee........................  12/28/77       09/30/86         08/10/83          04/18/91
Utah.............................  07/07/87       07/07/87         07/07/87          07/07/87      06/14/96
Vermont..........................  03/11/74       ...............  03/16/82          08/26/93
Virgin Islands...................  06/30/76       12/26/07         ................  12/26/07
Virginia.........................  03/31/75       02/09/82         04/14/89          04/20/91
Wake Island......................
Washington.......................  11/14/73       ...............  09/30/86          09/26/89
West Virginia....................  05/10/82       05/10/82         05/10/82          05/10/82
Wisconsin........................  02/04/74       11/26/79         12/24/80          12/19/86      07/28/00
Wyoming..........................  01/30/75       05/18/81         ................  09/24/91
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                         STATE SPECIFIC COMMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska*................................  Phased program over three (3)
                                          years. At time of program
                                          approval, Alaska will
                                          administer the NPDES program
                                          for domestic discharges
                                          (individual and general
                                          permits), log storage and
                                          transfer facilities, seafood
                                          processing facilities
                                          (individual and general
                                          permits), and hatcheries.
                                          Alaska will assume authority
                                          for federal facilities,
                                          pretreatment, and stormwater
                                          on 10/31/09.
Oklahoma**.............................  Partial Program. It has not
                                          been authorized to issue
                                          permits for activities
                                          associated with oil and gas
                                          exploration, drilling,
                                          operations, and pipelines, and
                                          for CAFOs and certain other
                                          discharges from agriculture.
                                          EPA is the permitting
                                          authority for those facilities
                                          since it is not in Oklahoma
                                          DEQ's jurisdiction. All parts
                                          of the program within
                                          jurisdiction of Oklahoma DEQ
                                          are authorized.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                [From the Chicago Tribune, Mar. 5, 2010]

                Cancer Study Triggers Fears in Crestwood

                         (By Jared S. Hopkins)

       Like many residents of Crestwood, Frank Caldario has been 
     worried about the water he drank for years without knowing it 
     was contaminated.
       Caldario's concerns, however, were heightened when he was 
     diagnosed with kidney cancer last year. The 30-year-old 
     office worker said surgeons removed a gumball-size tumor and 
     about 40 percent of his right kidney.
       ``I can't help but wonder if what happened to me had 
     something to do with the water,'' said Caldario, who doesn't 
     smoke and has lived in Crestwood since 1993.
       ``It's just unreal for someone my age to get that,'' he 
     said.

[[Page H4977]]

       After the state released a report Friday that found toxic 
     chemicals in Crestwood's drinking water could have 
     contributed to elevated cancer rates in the village, 
     residents said they were worried about their families' 
     health, the impact on their property values and footing the 
     bill to defend public officials who may be responsible.
       The Illinois Department of Public Health studied cancer 
     cases in the small community of about 11,000 between 1994 and 
     2006 and found higher-than-expected cases of kidney cancer in 
     men, lung cancer in men and women, and gastrointestinal 
     cancer in men. The state's investigation was prompted by a 
     Tribune report last year that revealed the village's secret 
     use of a tainted well.
       ``Of course there's a concern. If I said it wasn't in the 
     back of my head, I'd be lying,'' said Dominic Covone, 37, a 
     resident of about six years.''You don't want to think 
     something bad could happen from just drinking water.''
       In the report, researchers determined it was possible that 
     chemicals in the drinking water might have contributed to the 
     extra cancer cases but couldn't make a definite link.
       For years, the tainted water went undetected as village 
     officials told residents and regulators they used only 
     treated Lake Michigan water. But they continued pumping from 
     a polluted well for up to 20 percent of the water some 
     months, records show.
       Bill Shaughnessy, 60, a resident since 1987, said he hears 
     concerns about a falloff in property values and the 
     ``unknown,'' including what may be undiscovered in water 
     lines.
       Some residents said they were annoyed about the village's 
     use of taxpayer funds--more than $1 million last year--to 
     defend Crestwood officials in lawsuits. The tainted well was 
     used under the purview of Chester Stranczek, mayor from 1969 
     to 2007.
       ``I feel deceived,'' said resident Tom Parhis.
       Some longtime residents, however, said they still believe 
     the water did not pose a health risk.
       ``That's all hogwash,'' said Shirley Beaver, a 44-year 
     resident of Crestwood.
       Others described the federal government's current 
     investigation as ``Gestapo tactics'' against Stranczek and 
     praised the property tax rebates he created. Village 
     officials scrapped the rebates last year to help pay rising 
     legal bills.
       ``You think he'd poison his own kids?'' said Jim Leonard, 
     73, who has lived in the village for 47 years with his wife, 
     Millie.

  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will be postponed.


          Amendment No. 2 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed in 
House Report 112-144.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:
       Strike section 2 of the bill (and redesignate subsequent 
     sections accordingly).

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the distinguished chairman, and 
again I thank my friends on the floor of the House, and I did not 
acknowledge my friend the ranking member.
  I offer myself as a person who seeks to collaborate and fix problems. 
So my second amendment says let's work together, but there are times 
when the heart of the matter has to be addressed.
  My amendment strikes the language that really is the heart of the 
matter. It strikes the language in the bill, ensuring that the vital 
role played by the EPA in determining whether or not certain pollutants 
enter our waterways can still exist. Providing States with nearly 
unlimited authority to determine which pollutants can enter our 
waterways does not take into account issues that arise when States 
disagree.
  My amendment strikes the language that allows States, 50 States, to 
conflict against each other and one-upmanship--I'm going to do this; 
no, you're going to do this. This standardizes the issue of clean 
water. This stands up for people like those in Crestwood, Illinois, 
that wonder whether the water caused cancer, kidney cancer, in a 30-
year-old.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. I wish to claim the time in opposition.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GIBBS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  By striking section 2 of the bill, this amendment would effectively 
gut much of the bill.
  Section 2 of the bill would limit EPA from unilaterally changing 
approved State water quality standards and permitting decisions, or 
from withdrawing approval of a State water quality permitting program 
or limiting Federal financial assistance for the State water quality 
permitting program on the basis that the EPA disagrees with the State 
regarding a State water quality standard that EPA has approved.
  By striking section 2 of the bill, this amendment would continue to 
allow this administration's EPA to impose one-size-fits-all Federal 
policies on the States' water quality programs.
  We are not in favor of the EPA continuing their regulatory onslaught 
on the States. I urge all Members to oppose this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Bishop).
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. I thank the gentlewoman from Texas for 
yielding, and I also thank her for offering this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment.
  The amendment would strike the provisions of the underlying bill that 
threaten existing Clean Water Act authority related to the discharge of 
pollutants under the act.
  I oppose these provisions in the underlying bill, and I view this 
amendment as an effort to improve an otherwise very bad bill. On that 
basis I support the amendment.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the gentleman.
  Is it my right to close, Mr. Chairman?
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio has the right to close.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Let me refer my colleagues again to basic facts.
  Forty-seven States have entered into agreements with the EPA because 
they have decided, in spite of the challenges that we all have on 
making sure that we do the right thing, that it is the right thing to 
do, that clean water is our priority. And I would offer as a viable 
picture a recollection of Americans who had to live through histories 
when water was not clean. We did have that era in our lifetime, or at 
least in the lifetimes of many. I would argue that that is not the life 
we would like to go back to.
  This particular section is protecting us against pollutants that 
degrade surface water, rendering it unsafe for drinking, fishing, 
swimming, and other activities coming from a vast variety of chemicals, 
industry, and other sources. By regulating the sources that dispense 
these harmful pollutants, the EPA is able to ensure that all States 
have access to safe drinking water.

                              {time}  1530

  Do you want a jobs bill? Then you create the companies that are going 
to help us keep our waterways clean. Put people to work cleaning water. 
Put people to work complying with the right thing to do to ensure that 
we have clean drinking water, to ensure that babies and working moms 
and families can turn on that faucet, and to ensure that they can drink 
that clean water.
  We want to work with industry. We want to be able to come halfway, 
but we don't want to return America to a time when you would dip down. 
You find in developing nations the enormous number of diseases that 
children have because they do not have clean water. Go to some of our 
developing nations. See what they're washing themselves in. See what 
they're drinking.
  That's not America.
  We have the opportunity to be the kind of nation that works with our 
businesses but also the kind that fights for our children and provides 
the opportunity for clean water. I ask my

[[Page H4978]]

colleagues to stand with us and to strike section 2 to allow us, one, 
to go for a compromise if we can, but also to stand for those who would 
welcome clean water. Let's end diseases that can be caused in this 
reckless manner.
  I ask my colleagues to support the Jackson Lee amendment to support 
clean water in America.
  Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of my amendment to H.R. 2018 the 
``Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011,'' which ensures the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will continue to have authority 
to oversee issues related to the standards for and issuance of National 
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.
  My amendment will strike section 2 of the bill, ensuring the vital 
role played by the EPA in determining whether or not certain pollutants 
enter our waterways. Providing States with nearly unlimited authority 
to determine which pollutants can enter our waterways does not take 
into account issues that arise when States disagree.
  The EPA is a unifying body, issuing regulations that ensure all 
States have standards that they must follow. Bodies of water cross 
State lines, and the water quality standards of one State are very 
likely to impact neighboring States.
  The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires that all wastewater discharges to 
surface water receive a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 
(NPDES) permit. 47 States, including Texas, where I represent the 18th 
Congressional District, are currently authorized to issue NPDES 
permits. Texas has been authorized to issue these permits since 
September 14, 1998.
  The pollutants that degrade surface water, rendering it unsafe for 
drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities, come from a vast 
variety of chemicals, industry and other sources. By regulating the 
sources that dispense these harmful pollutants, the EPA is able to 
ensure that all States have access to safe water bodies.
  It is important that the EPA be able to set a universal standard that 
all States follow. States may lack the resources and funding to 
adequately implement the NPDES program and properly regulate sources of 
water contaminants. Additionally, States may not have the resources or 
expertise needed to continually evaluate regulations in order to ensure 
that water remains safe.
  Preventing the EPA from regulating the levels of pollutants in bodies 
of water may give jurisdiction over the issuance of permits to the 
States, but it certainly will not allow States to set their own 
standards for water quality. If the EPA is not able to set universal 
standards, downstream States will be subject to the water quality of 
upstream States. Contaminated groundwater will spread beyond State 
borders, impacting the lakes, reservoirs, and agriculture of nearby 
States, putting the people and the economy of its neighbors at risk.
  In 1906, Missouri sued Illinois for discharging sewage into a 
tributary of the Mississippi River that ultimately rendered drinking 
water unsafe in Missouri. Restricting the EPA from holding all States 
to the same standards will inevitably lead to many suits of this 
nature.
  I believe this bill sends us in the wrong direction when it comes to 
protecting our nation's bodies of water. This bill leaves a false 
impression that the EPA is an organization that arbitrarily picks and 
chooses what chemicals States can and cannot permit to enter our 
precious waters. Rather, the EPA has a broad responsibility for 
research, standard-setting, monitoring, and enforcement with regard to 
five environmental hazards: air pollution, water pollution, solid waste 
disposal, radiation, and pesticides. The EPA represents a coordinated 
approach to each of these problems, including an important standard for 
clean water.
  Mr. Chair, I strongly urge opposition to this bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I just want to reemphasize and restate that 
the States are operating under an already approved plan from the U.S. 
EPA which addresses these concerns, so I don't see how we go backwards, 
because they're operating within the framework that was set up. By the 
way, under the Clean Water Act, that plan is reviewed every 3 years.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mrs. Capito

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in 
House Report 112-144.
  Mrs. CAPITO. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 6. IMPACTS OF EPA REGULATORY ACTIVITY ON EMPLOYMENT AND 
                   ECONOMIC ACTIVITY.

       (a) Analysis of Impacts of Actions on Employment and 
     Economic Activity.--
       (1) Analysis.--Before taking a covered action, the 
     Administrator shall analyze the impact, disaggregated by 
     State, of the covered action on employment levels and 
     economic activity, including estimated job losses and 
     decreased economic activity.
       (2) Economic models.--
       (A) In general.--In carrying out paragraph (1), the 
     Administrator shall utilize the best available economic 
     models.
       (B) Annual gao report.--Not later than December 31st of 
     each year, the Comptroller General of the United States shall 
     submit to Congress a report on the economic models used by 
     the Administrator to carry out this subsection.
       (3) Availability of information.--With respect to any 
     covered action, the Administrator shall--
       (A) post the analysis under paragraph (1) as a link on the 
     main page of the public Internet Web site of the 
     Environmental Protection Agency; and
       (B) request that the Governor of any State experiencing 
     more than a de minimis negative impact post such analysis in 
     the Capitol of such State.
       (b) Public Hearings.--
       (1) In general.--If the Administrator concludes under 
     subsection (a)(1) that a covered action will have more than a 
     de minimis negative impact on employment levels or economic 
     activity in a State, the Administrator shall hold a public 
     hearing in each such State at least 30 days prior to the 
     effective date of the covered action.
       (2) Time, location, and selection.--A public hearing 
     required under paragraph (1) shall be held at a convenient 
     time and location for impacted residents. In selecting a 
     location for such a public hearing, the Administrator shall 
     give priority to locations in the State that will experience 
     the greatest number of job losses.
       (c) Notification.--If the Administrator concludes under 
     subsection (a)(1) that a covered action will have more than a 
     de minimis negative impact on employment levels or economic 
     activity in any State, the Administrator shall give notice of 
     such impact to the State's Congressional delegation, 
     Governor, and Legislature at least 45 days before the 
     effective date of the covered action.
       (d) Definitions.--In this section, the following 
     definitions apply:
       (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
     Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
       (2) Covered action.--The term ``covered action'' means any 
     of the following actions taken by the Administrator under the 
     Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.):
       (A) Issuing a regulation, policy statement, guidance, 
     response to a petition, or other requirement.
       (B) Implementing a new or substantially altered program.
       (3) More than a de minimis negative impact.--The term 
     ``more than a de minimis negative impact'' means the 
     following:
       (A) With respect to employment levels, a loss of more than 
     100 jobs. Any offsetting job gains that result from the 
     hypothetical creation of new jobs through new technologies or 
     government employment may not be used in the job loss 
     calculation.
       (B) With respect to economic activity, a decrease in 
     economic activity of more than $1,000,000 over any calendar 
     year. Any offsetting economic activity that results from the 
     hypothetical creation of new economic activity through new 
     technologies or government employment may not be used in the 
     economic activity calculation.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentlewoman from 
West Virginia (Mrs. Capito) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from West Virginia.
  Mrs. CAPITO. I would like to thank the chairman of my subcommittee, 
the gentleman from Ohio, for his leadership on this issue.
  My amendment is a simple reaction to conversations that I've had with 
the administrator and others at the EPA and also with the President of 
the United States.
  In questioning the President, I asked:
  Mr. President, when you're going forth on your rules and regulations 
at the EPA, do you consider jobs and economic impact?
  He said we should and I say we should, and that is the purpose of my 
amendment. This requires the EPA to analyze the impact on jobs and 
economic activity prior to issuing a regulation, policy statement, 
guidance, or

[[Page H4979]]

prior to implementing any new or substantially altered program under 
the Clean Water Act.
  Earlier this year, the EPA retroactively vetoed a previously approved 
Clean Water Act permit in West Virginia at the Spruce Mine. This came 
as quite a surprise, and it was very unprecedented because I don't 
believe the EPA--if it has, it has been maybe once or twice in its 
history--has ever retroactively vetoed a permit. It had a very chilling 
effect not only on jobs but on the economic activity in our State. This 
action has caused a slow bleed of jobs throughout Appalachia. Reaching 
back to revoke a permit is particularly concerning because it causes 
great uncertainty for job creators in our State. This is at a time when 
we have as a Nation 9.2 percent unemployment.
  We need to get people to work.
  Why would a company invest in a new project that has been permitted 
when it would think that there would be a reach-back by the EPA under 
the Clean Water Act which could revoke this permit? To me, this just 
chills job creation in our State.
  The EPA's ideological war on our energy producers is manifesting 
itself in other ways in my district and across the country. In the 
eastern part of West Virginia, the EPA--listen to this--is using aerial 
surveillance of family farms with the goal of ensuring compliance with 
the Clean Water Act. According to an article in a local newspaper, the 
EPA is going so far as to regulate the types of sheds that family 
farmers can have for their cattle operations. Yet, when asked about the 
economic impact of this kind of regulatory overreach, the EPA's 
representative made it clear that jobs are irrelevant.
  As the Nation faces 9.2 percent unemployment and as hundreds of 
thousands of jobs hang in limbo, the administration has refused to 
reconsider this agenda. The negative impact of the regulatory actions 
upon jobs is obvious. However, the EPA has been unable to give me a 
straight answer on whether it does or does not consider the negative 
impact on jobs or economic impact.
  So let's put it clearly in the law:
  You must consider this to strike that balance between environment and 
economy.
  All this amendment is asking for, quite simply, is transparency. It 
doesn't mandate what decision has to be made when considering what jobs 
or economic impact is discovered. It does say that, when jobs and 
economic impact are negative, the EPA has to go to the local governance 
authority, whether it's the Governor or the smaller community, and 
explain this action. So it's transparency. I think it will help further 
clarify decisions, but it will also help our energy producers figure 
out how to weave the balance between the economy and the environment.
  In closing, I've heard a lot of talk about our collective goal of 
clean air and clean water. We all share that--and no one more than 
everyone on the floor who is sitting here today and those of us across 
the country--but we cannot afford this continued unaccountable, 
nontransparent assault on our American jobs, so I urge my colleagues to 
support my amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. I claim time in opposition.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. We have heard a great deal of how reversals 
on the part of the EPA have caused uncertainty in the business 
community--uncertainty that leads to job loss, uncertainty that leads 
to a lack of interest in investing. Here are the numbers:
  In 40 years, the EPA has reversed 13 permits--13--out of over 2 
million issued. That is a veto rate of .00065 percent.
  I fail to see how a reversal rate of significantly less than 1 
percent can create the kind of uncertainty that we hear about from our 
colleagues. In fact, that kind of reversal rate encourages a reliance 
on the legitimacy and the validity of a permit granted, not the 
questioning of it.
  I would also point out that, of these 13 reversals, seven took place 
under the administration of President Reagan; four took place under the 
Presidency of the first George Bush; one under George W. Bush; and one 
under President Obama. I think we are hard-pressed to develop a fact-
based argument that there is an assault or that there is an overreach 
on the part of the EPA.
  Now, with respect to the subject of the amendment, itself, the EPA 
has testified before the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee 
that it already considers the implications of its actions on jobs and 
on the economy. In fact, many of the requirements that bring the EPA to 
do that were enacted by the Republican majority when they last 
controlled the House. I would suggest that the enactment of this 
amendment will only duplicate the analysis that the EPA is already 
undertaking.
  As a result, I fear that this amendment will only increase the 
opportunity for litigation relating to actions on the part of the EPA, 
causing a new cause of action in the Clean Water Act for third-party 
lawsuits. If anything, I fear that the effect of this amendment will be 
to tie up efforts by the EPA to protect public health and the 
environment in a bureaucratic morass.
  On that basis, I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. CAPITO. I would just like to quickly respond in terms of the 
revocation of the one permit. Let's talk about the hundreds of permits 
that are sitting at the EPA, and try to figure out how to meet the 
balance here.

                              {time}  1540

  Let's look at the total picture--that's all I'm saying--of jobs and 
the environment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Gibbs).
  Mr. GIBBS. I urge Members to support Mrs. Capito's amendment. Her 
amendment would bring transparency to the development of regulations 
and require the EPA to provide a more robust analysis of the economic 
impacts of its regulatory actions.
  This will not halt the issuance of regulations, only provide better 
information to those who are responsible for writing the regulations, 
in this case the EPA. I think we can all agree the EPA could have 
better information to utilize to make better regulatory decisions.
  I am concerned, as I believe the Administrator of the U.S. EPA has 
testified, that their main concern, when they look at a regulatory 
issue, is public health and safety of the environment, and they don't 
do any cost-benefit analysis and diminishing returns and all that.
  I urge support of the amendment.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire as to how much 
time I have remaining.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from New York has 2\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the 
ranking member, the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall).
  Mr. RAHALL. I thank the gentleman from New York for yielding.
  I rise in support of the gentlelady from West Virginia's amendment; 
let me state that at the very beginning. My only concerns here were 
attaching an economic analysis amendment to the pending legislation 
which is directed at the Clean Water Act interpretations.
  The pending amendment by the gentlelady from West Virginia--which as 
I say, I support--would appear to me to more broaden the direction in 
which this bill goes, which I think detracts from the original intent 
of the legislation to zero in on clean water issues.
  The gentlelady's amendment should be properly--I believe it is--the 
subject of another stand-alone bill that's been introduced in this body 
to judge the economic analysis. That legislation I support as well. I 
might add, in addition, that I brought this issue up with Cass 
Sunstein, who is the head of the White House Office of Regulatory 
Review, whose job it is to determine and to examine the economic 
analysis of regulations that come out of the Federal agencies. That is 
the White House Office of Regulatory Review's jurisdiction, not EPA's 
jurisdiction, as the gentlelady has paraphrased the EPA administrator; 
and as we've all heard her say, job repercussions is not necessarily 
part of her job description.
  The unfortunate fact is that the Office of Regulatory Review under 
the White House jurisdiction has very limited staff and does not have 
the staff availability to examine the economic analysis of every 
regulation that comes out of every agency of our Federal Government, 
which they are tasked to do,

[[Page H4980]]

but certainly don't have the resources to fully do their job.
  So the bottom line, I do support the gentlelady's amendment. I do 
worry that it overly broadens this particular piece of legislation and 
should be properly, as it is, the subject of a separate stand-alone 
legislation on its own.
  The CHAIR. The gentlewoman from West Virginia has 15 seconds 
remaining.
  Mrs. CAPITO. I want to thank my colleague from West Virginia for his 
support because he and I are seeing firsthand--we want to see 
transparency; we want to see the information move forward on the 
economic impact. We are at a place where we need jobs, we want jobs, we 
just want to see the facts.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time, and I urge support 
of my amendment.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. Mr. Chairman, for the reasons I have cited, I 
urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Capito).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from West Virginia will be 
postponed.


                Amendment No. 4 Offered by Ms. Hanabusa

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 printed in 
House Report 112-144.
  Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 6. REPORTING ON HARMFUL POLLUTANTS.

       Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, and annually thereafter, the Administrator of the 
     Environmental Protection Agency shall submit to Congress a 
     report on any increase in waterborne pathogenic 
     microorganisms (including protozoa, viruses, bacteria, and 
     parasites), toxic chemicals, or toxic metals (such as lead 
     and mercury) in waters regulated by a State under the 
     provisions of this Act, including the amendments made by this 
     Act.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentlewoman from 
Hawaii (Ms. Hanabusa) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Hawaii.
  Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Chair, this amendment simply seeks from the 
Administrator of the EPA to submit to Congress within 1 year, and then 
annually thereafter, a report on any increase in waterborne pathogenic 
microorganisms, which include protozoa, viruses, bacteria and 
parasites, toxic chemicals or toxic metals, such as lead and mercury, 
in waters regulated by the State under the provisions of H.R. 2018, 
including any further amendments to this bill.
  Mr. Chair, there is nothing as important to all of us, especially for 
those of us in Hawaii, as water quality. We are the only island State, 
and of course our pristine waters are very critical to us for our major 
economic engine, which is tourism. And I don't believe it's any 
different for any other State, especially those of us who have 
bordering oceans, and even those who may have navigable streams within 
our borders. Water is critical.
  What H.R. 2018 does is it simply states that the States now have the 
right to regulate water quality. By doing that, however, we need to 
know what they're doing and to ensure for all of us and our 
constituents that the States are doing a good job. All this amendment 
is seeking from the States is for the EPA to report to us so we can 
know if in fact they're doing what this bill gives them the authority 
to do, which is to make the decisions regarding water quality.
  For that reason, Mr. Chair, I ask for the support of this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I wish to claim time in opposition.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GIBBS. The Hanabusa amendment authorizes the EPA to study the 
effectiveness of cooperative federalism once H.R. 2018 is enacted.
  While the amendment seems to carry a bias in that the EPA can only 
report an increase of pathogens or toxins, and not reductions, after 
enactment of H.R. 2018, the EPA will have very little to report upon.
  H.R. 2018 will lead to better water quality decisions made at the 
local level, and this will benefit the environment for all of us. If 
H.R. 2018 would lead to water quality degradation, none of us in this 
Chamber would support it if that were the case.
  Noting the bias in the amendment, if the sponsor would like to ask 
for a unanimous consent request to modify her amendment to modify line 
5 after ``increase'' by adding the phrase ``or reductions,'' we then 
would be able to accept the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Chair, I would accept the modification. However, I 
would also like to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Bishop).
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. I thank the gentlelady for yielding, and I 
thank her for offering this amendment.
  I just want to simply say, as I've made clear, I do not support the 
underlying legislation, but this is a very prudent amendment that 
allows us to assess as we go forward whether or not this proposed law 
is in the best interests of our Nation's clean water and in the 
interests of our Nation's health. So I commend the gentlelady for 
offering the amendment, and I am very happy to hear that this may be 
accepted.
  Mr. GIBBS. I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Chair, I understand with our agreement to their 
modification, that they will accept the amendment.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. With the modification, I think this is a good amendment. I 
want to commend my colleague for offering it because I think we will 
get an accurate report from the EPA when they do their study on whether 
we're making progress because of H.R. 2018 or if we're going backwards. 
So I think it's important to have this amendment modified to provide 
those words ``or reductions.''
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1550


                    Modification to Amendment No. 4

  Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Chair, I ask unanimous consent to modify the 
amendment.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will report the modification.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       On line 5, insert ``or reduction'' after ``increase''.

  The CHAIR. Is there objection to the modification?
  Without objection, the modification is agreed to.
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment, as modified, offered by 
the gentlewoman from Hawaii (Ms. Hanabusa).
  The amendment, as modified, was agreed to.


                  Amendment No. 5 Offered by Mr. Polis

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 5 printed in 
House Report 112-144.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 6. PERMIT HOLDERS IN SIGNIFICANT NONCOMPLIANCE.

       None of the provisions of this Act, including the 
     amendments made by this Act, shall apply to any permit holder 
     that is listed by the Administrator of the Environmental 
     Protection Agency as being in significant noncompliance with 
     any requirement of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act 
     (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Polis) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chair, our country's worst polluters don't deserve a 
get out of jail free card. I think that's an unintended consequence of 
the current language of the bill, absent this amendment. And I 
encourage my colleagues

[[Page H4981]]

on both sides of the aisle to adopt this amendment.
  Regardless of one's position on the underlying bill, one thing I hope 
we can all agree on is that the most egregious polluters--these are 
polluters that Republican and Democratic State administrations, 
Republican and Democratic experts agree are the most egregious 
polluters, those who simply disregard the law knowingly, those who 
repeatedly ignore State regulation, are bad actors and they should not 
be among those who benefit from this bill. The States deserve to have 
the EPA back them up and help them keep tabs on these polluters who 
continually violate State rules.
  Unfortunately, the vast majority of these polluters have escaped not 
only punishment but simply increased scrutiny. Polluters that 
continually violate the law are classified as ``significant 
noncompliance.'' That's the term that's used. This classification 
simply puts these polluters under a greater microscope by the EPA. It 
doesn't change authorities. It doesn't engender some new regulatory 
scheme. It simply ensures that the EPA is keeping a close eye on them 
and ensuring that State programs are being followed.
  Again, I believe it's a piece of this that's outside of this larger 
State versus Federal debate. It's one that is consistent with 
supporting States' regulation of the most egregious infractors.
  States simply don't have the resources to keep our waters safe on 
their own. According to a 2009 New York Times investigation, State 
officials attribute rising pollution rates to increased workloads and 
dwindling resources. In 46 States, local regulators already have 
primary responsibility for crucial aspects of the Clean Water Act. The 
job needed to protect our health is simply too big for State regulators 
alone.
  One notable example of significant noncompliance is from the Bush 
administration between 2001 and 2006. The Bush administration found 
that Massey Energy, the same company responsible for the Big Branch 
Mine Disaster, had accrued over 2,000 significant violations, and the 
State did not have the resources to hold them accountable. Under 
significant noncompliance, the Bush administration was able to more 
closely watch Massey and ensure they followed State rules.
  Again, in its current form, this bill offers these most extreme 
polluters a get out of jail free card, unraveling the EPA's long 
history of backing up State authority and successfully and reasonably 
keeping these major polluters in check. My amendment very simply states 
that the EPA can keep a closer eye--that's all, a closer eye--on the 
most extreme violators of the law, polluters who are habitually out of 
compliance or significant noncompliance.
  Without my amendment, this bill would mean that our Nation's worst 
offenders would be free from EPA scrutiny, with sole authority being 
new, less organized, and naive State programs ripe for loopholes and 
some of which simply don't have the scale to adequately regulate what's 
at stake.
  Mr. Chair, if a student is disruptive in class, it's only common 
sense they go to the principal's office. That doesn't mean the teacher 
doesn't have autonomy in the class or the troubled student doesn't 
respect the teacher. They need to know there are greater consequences 
for bad behavior.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I wish to claim time in opposition.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GIBBS. The gentleman from Colorado seems to suggest that States 
would continue to allow polluters to pollute waters of their States 
under H.R. 2018 unless this amendment is adopted. Nothing could be 
further from the truth. If H.R. 2018 degraded water quality, none of us 
would support this legislation.
  I also question the implementation of the amendment. If you had a 
permit holder who is in significant noncompliance, does that negate 
water quality provisions for the water body the permit holder may be 
polluting? Of course not. Nothing in H.R. 2018 allows a permit holder 
to violate the terms of a permit.
  I urge all Members to oppose the Polis amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Bishop).
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. I thank the gentleman from Colorado for 
yielding, and I thank the gentleman for offering this, I think, very 
well thought-out and well-conceived amendment.
  I support the amendment offered by the gentleman because it suggests 
that the most appropriate place for retaining Federal oversight is 
against polluters who have a track record on the most serious 
violations of the Clean Water Act, those found to be in significant 
noncompliance; and, thus, the retention of a Federal oversight role I 
think is very wise.
  And let me just amplify that. In September of 2009, The New York 
Times ran a front-page story highlighting that, from 2004 to 2008, 
506,000 violations of the Clean Water Act were reported for both major 
and minor facilities; and during that time, the States only took 11,000 
enforcement actions, or what is basically a 2 percent enforcement rate. 
We need to have the Federal Government retain its oversight role. This 
amendment would do that.
  I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. GIBBS. I just want to reemphasize that if there is a permit 
holder in violation, the States have an obligation and a responsibility 
to step in and take action and enforcement. If they probably didn't, 
I'm sure that there's some organization that would file a lawsuit 
against that EPA.
  So I don't think this amendment does anything to help the bill. I 
think the bill takes care of it, and the people who would be in 
violation would be prosecuted under the law.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chair, I don't agree with what the gentleman from Ohio 
said. I don't believe that this should be yet another unfunded mandate 
on the States.
  While the number of unregulated facilities has more than doubled in 
the last decade, many State enforcement budgets have been flat when 
adjusted for inflation. In New York, for example, the number of 
regulated polluters has almost doubled in the last decade, but the 
number of inspections have remained the same.
  Again, my amendment gives the State the ability to send habitual bad 
actors to the EPA, not for the worst punishment, not for some change in 
authority, not for some overreach, but simply for closer scrutiny. My 
amendment does not affect punishment. It simply allows the EPA to keep 
a close eye on the frequent violator in support of the State, as is the 
practice with significant noncompliance.
  I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this 
amendment to ensure that the worst violators are properly inspected in 
support of State regulation.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Polis).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I ask for a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Colorado will be postponed.


          Amendment No. 6 Offered by Mr. Connolly of Virginia

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 printed in 
House Report 112-144.
  Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 6. PROTECTION OF WATERS RECEIVING FEDERAL ASSISTANCE.

       None of the provisions of this Act, including the 
     amendments made by this Act, shall apply to waters for which 
     Federal funding is provided for restoration projects, 
     studies, pilot projects, or development of total maximum 
     daily loads, as determined by the Administrator of the 
     Environmental Protection Agency.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Connolly) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I would be remiss if I failed

[[Page H4982]]

to note the irony of the legislation before us today. After 7 months of 
ranting and raving about the lack of regulatory certainty which causes 
economic stagnation, the Republican majority is now attempting to pass 
a bill which would replace a clear, predictable, national clean water 
standard with an utterly unpredictable patchwork of State standards. 
Chaos does not federalism make, nor is one State's ability to sully a 
downstream State's waters consistent with the commerce clause of the 
United States Constitution.

                              {time}  1600

  This legislation, with the Orwellian title the Clean Water 
Cooperative Federalism Act, would endanger watersheds all across 
America, including the precious Chesapeake Bay in our region here in 
the National Capital Region. As my colleagues are aware, the bay 
watershed encompasses six States and the District of Columbia.
  Logically, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of 
Agriculture, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, 
the U.S. Geological Survey, and other agencies work in tandem with 
States throughout the watershed to reduce pollution entering the bay. 
Since watersheds do not correspond easily to State lines, this kind of 
interagency cooperation is essential and efficient to restore America's 
largest estuary.
  H.R. 2018 would unravel that partnership, balkanizing water policy 
and undermining bay restoration. I have drafted a simple amendment, Mr. 
Chairman, to exempt watersheds like the Chesapeake Bay from this bill 
by limiting the bill's jurisdiction to watersheds which do not receive 
Federal aid for watershed restoration and related activities. This 
amendment would allow critical efforts, such as the restoration of the 
bay, Long Island Sound, the Great Lakes, Puget Sound, Gulf of Mexico, 
San Francisco Bay, and other great waters to continue. It would 
acknowledge the undeniable fact that water does not stop when it 
reaches the State line.
  This amendment is important because these great waters are an 
integral part of our American heritage. The Chesapeake Bay was where 
John Smith arrived and founded Jamestown. The first colonial 
exploration of Virginia, also by John Smith, used the bay to explore 
the rivers of Virginia and Maryland. The Chesapeake is home to the 
French blockade of the British Navy, which enabled George Washington to 
have victory at Yorktown and a successful conclusion to the 
Revolutionary War.
  For 200 years the Chesapeake Bay was one of America's most productive 
fisheries, fueling the growth of coastal communities such as 
Alexandria, Norfolk, and Baltimore, as well as an indigenous fleet of 
boats such as the skipjacks, deadrises, and bugeyes.
  Unfortunately, development and overfishing wiped out many of the 
fisheries that were once so productive. When John Smith arrived in the 
bay, his crew had neglected to bring fishing line, but they were able 
to pull fish out of the bay by scooping them out of the water. Smith 
wrote that the oysters on the bay floor lay thick as stones and were so 
prolific that these filter feeders cleaned the entire volume of the bay 
daily. The shad runs up the James, Rappahannock, and Potomac Rivers 
were so immense that colonial observers noted it would have been 
possible to walk all the way from the James from Richmond to Manchester 
on the backs of fish without ever touching water.
  These fish were so large and powerful that, when caught, they 
actually shook the first Manchester Bridge on its piers. Of course, the 
bay is part of a much larger watershed now that is as historic 
ecologically as the bay is itself.
  To restore this great water body, many Federal agencies have been 
working in partnership with States, localities, and landowners. As 
written, H.R. 2018 would rupture that partnership, effectively giving 
any one State veto authority over the region's restoration efforts. My 
simple amendment would protect our ability to keep working together as 
a region to restore the bay.
  This regional effort was first started at the Federal level by a 
Republican, my old friend, Republican U.S. Senator Charles ``Mac'' 
Mathias of Maryland. To the extent we are making progress today, it's a 
result of the partnership between Virginia, whose general assembly is 
investing over $100 million annually in private land conservation, a 
Republican-led initiative that was expanded under a Democratic 
Governor. Let us not turn our backs on this 30-year partnership.
  I ask for your support for this commonsense amendment to continue the 
improvements to America's largest and most historic estuary, as well as 
our Nation's other great waters.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I wish to claim time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. McClintock). The gentleman from Ohio is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GIBBS. The Connolly amendment says that the underlying bill will 
not apply to any waters for which Federal funding is provided. This 
would have an effect of realigning Federal funding for projects and 
subject States with waters for which Federal funding is provided to 
greater EPA imposition of Federal one-size-fits-all policies.
  As drafted, the scope of the Federal funding intended to be covered 
under this amendment is unclear, but could be interpreted to be almost 
limitless in coverage. As a result, this amendment would allow EPA to 
determine that the amendment applies to virtually all waters, with the 
consequent effect of nullifying the underlying bill.
  Rather than nullifying this legislation, I would rather the gentleman 
from Virginia join those of us who think it would be more productive to 
ease the burden of unnecessary regulations and provide the States more 
authority in carrying out the Clean Water Act. I urge all Members to 
oppose the Connolly amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. I yield myself the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds.
  Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Let me say to my friend who is managing on 
the majority side, I spent 14 years in local government. We don't 
consider the Federal involvement in cleaning up the bay an undue 
burden. We actually consider it a partnership that has paid off big 
time, and we need more of it.

              Support the Connolly Amendment to H.R. 2018

       Protect these Great Waters: Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, 
     Long Island Sound, South Florida/Everglades, Mississippi 
     River Basin, San Francisco Bay, Gulf of Mexico, Lake 
     Champlain, Puget Sound, Casco Bay (ME), New Hampshire 
     Estuaries, Massachusetts Bays, Buzzards Bay, Narragansett 
     Bay, Peconic Estuary, New York/NJ Harbor, Bernegat Bay, 
     Delaware Inland Bays, Maryland Coastal Bays, Southeast Coast, 
     Albermarle-Pamlico Sound, Indian River Lagoon, Gulf Coast, 
     Charlotte Harbor, Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay, Mobile Bay, 
     Bataraia-Terrebonne Estuary, Galveston Bay, Coastal Bend Bay, 
     West Coast, Lower Columbia River, Tillamook Bay, Morro Bay
       Dear Colleague, many of us have worked in collaboration 
     with partners at the state and local level to protect great 
     waters like the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Everglades, Lake 
     Champlain, Long Island Sound, San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, 
     Mississippi Basin, and the Gulf of Mexico.
       I have drafted a simple amendment to exempt these 
     watersheds and others that receive federal restoration 
     funding from H.R. 2018. This amendment would allow critical 
     efforts such as restoration to continue in acknowledgement of 
     the undeniable fact that water does not stop when it reaches 
     a state line. A more complete list of watersheds that would 
     be protected by this amendment can be found at the end of 
     this letter.
       This amendment is important because these great waters are 
     an integral part of our American heritage. The Chesapeake 
     Bay, for example, was where John Smith arrived and founded 
     Jamestown. The first colonial exploration of Virginia, also 
     by John Smith, used the Bay to explore the rivers of Virginia 
     and Maryland. The Chesapeake is home to the French blockade 
     of the British Navy, which enabled George Washington's 
     victory at Yorktown and a successful conclusion to the 
     Revolutionary War. For two hundred years the Chesapeake was 
     one of America's most productive fisheries, fueling the 
     growth of coastal communities such as Alexandria, Norfolk, 
     and Baltimore, as well as an indigenous fleet of boats such 
     as the Skipjacks, Deadrises, and Bugeyes.
       Unfortunately, development and overfishing wiped out many 
     of the fisheries that were once so productive. When John 
     Smith arrived in the Bay, his crew had neglected to bring 
     fishing line, but they were able to pull fish out of the Bay 
     by scooping them out of the water with frying pans. Smith 
     wrote that the oysters on the Bay floor ``lay thick as 
     stones'' and were so prolific that these filter

[[Page H4983]]

     feeders cleaned the whole volume of the Bay daily. The shad 
     runs up the James, Rappahannock, and Potomac were so immense 
     that colonial observers noted it would have been possible to 
     walk across the James from Richmond to Manchester on the 
     backs of fish without ever touching water. These fish were so 
     large and powerful that, when caught, they shook the first 
     Manchester Bridge on its moorings. Of course, the Bay is part 
     of a much larger watershed that is as historic and 
     ecologically valuable as the Bay itself.
       To restore this great water body many federal agencies have 
     been working in partnership with states, localities, and land 
     owners. As written, H.R. 2018 would rupture that partnership, 
     effectively giving any one state veto authority over the 
     region's Bay restoration efforts. This important amendment 
     would protect our ability to keep working together as a 
     region to restore the Bay and other great waters across 
     America.
       Please support this amendment and contact 
     zack.fields@mail.house.gov (3-3122) with any questions.
           Sincerely,
                                               Gerald E. Connolly,
                                          11th District, Virginia.
       Watersheds and States that would be protected from H.R. 
     2018:
       Great Lakes--NY, PA, OH, IL, IN, MN, WI, MI
       Chesapeake Bay--NY, PA, MD, DE, VA, WV
       Long Island Sound--CT, NY, RI
       South Florida/Everglades--FL
       Mississippi River Basin--MN, ND, SD, WY, CO, NM, TX, OK, 
     KS, NE, AR, LA, MS, TN, AL, GA, KS, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA, OH, 
     PA, NY, NC
       San Francisco Bay--CA, OR, NV
       Gulf of Mexico--TX, LA, FL, AL, MS
       Lake Champlain--NY, VT
       Puget Sound--WA
       National Estuary Programs: 
       Casco Bay--ME
       New Hampshire Estuaries--NH
       Massachusetts Bays--MA
       Buzzards Bay--MA, RI
       Naragansett Bay--MA, RI
       Peconic Estuary--NY
       New York/NJ Harbor--NY, NJ
       Bernegat Bay--NJ
       Delaware Inland Bays--NJ, DE, PA, MD
       Inland Bays--DE
       Maryland Coastal Bays--MD
       Albermarle-Pamlico Sound--NC, VA
       Indian River Lagoon--FL
       Charlotte Harbor--FL
       Sarasota Bay--FL
       Tampa Bay--FL
       Mobile Bay--AL
       Bataraia-Terrebonne Estuary--LA
       Galveston Bay--TX
       Coastal Bend Bay--TX
       Lower Columbia River--WA, OR
       Tillamook Bay--OR
       Morro Bay--CA

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Chair, I rise today in strong support of the 
Connolly Amendment to H.R. 2018, Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act 
and stand in strong opposition to the underlying bill. H.R. 2018 is yet 
another attempt to dismantle our nation's environmental protections and 
further jeopardize the public health and safety of our citizens.
  Simply put, H.R. 2018 would return the U.S. to a structure of Clean 
Water laws that existed before enactment of the Clean Water Act of 1972 
by undermining the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to assure 
state water quality standards. Before the Clean Water Act of 1972, 70 
percent of our nation's waters were unsafe for fishing, swimming, or 
drinking.
  This amendment, offered by my colleague from Virginia, would exempt 
states that receive federal restoration funding from H.R. 2018. It 
understands that ongoing cooperation among federal, state and local 
governments is necessary to ensure that basic water quality standards 
are upheld across the United States, regardless of which state you 
reside in.
  This amendment also recognizes that our Federal Government has spent 
billions of dollars on regional collaborative efforts among states to 
repair and restore our nation's valuable waterways, and that this bill, 
H.R. 2018, threatens to nullify these efforts and write off valuable 
investment already undertaken by effectively giving any one state veto 
authority over a region's restoration efforts.
  As a co-chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force, a bipartisan 
working group of members from eight states surrounding the Great Lakes, 
I understand how critical it is for our states to work together to save 
our nation's valuable waterways and that this cooperation must be 
guided by the underlying premise that water does not stop when it 
reaches the state line. The Great Lakes have received over $800 million 
in federal funding over the last two years alone to undertake such 
restoration efforts. We must not let these efforts and our valuable 
nation resources go to waste.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support this amendment and oppose 
H.R. 2018.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of the amendment by my 
colleague from Virginia and against this bad bill.
  I am troubled that the bill we are considering today seems to move us 
backwards to a time when some advocated states should reign supreme and 
could opt out of federal laws.
  We tried that system of government, it was called the Articles of 
Confederation, and it failed miserably.
  Each state did its own thing, and there was no mechanism by which 
disagreements among the states could be resolved.
  The issue today is whether states can opt out or even veto tougher, 
more stringent water quality standards to protect the public's health.
  This bill returns us to a time when we had no uniform national 
minimum clean water standard and states had conflicting policies or no 
policies to protect the public.
  That was a time when rivers were so polluted they caught fire.
  The problem with this reasoning and with this bill is that 
responsible downstream states suffered the consequences of lax or weak 
upstream states' policies.
  I am sure my colleagues, who seem so enamored with this proposition 
and this legislation, would raise objections if we were to apply a 
similar proposal to our immigration policy.
  Employing this same logic, states would be granted full rights to 
disregard federal immigration policies and opt-out or set a different 
policy on which immigrants to accept or reject.
  Water, like immigrants, crosses state lines; and immigrants like 
water should be governed by a single national standard.
  The landmark Clean Water Act provides states full flexibility for 
meeting the federal standards, and it also allows states flexibility to 
set higher standards.
  The amendment my colleague from Virginia is offering would at least 
allow Virginia and the other states that are part of the Chesapeake Bay 
watershed and some of this nation's other great bodies of water--waters 
that are the primary source of millions of Americans' economic 
livelihood and drinking water--to proceed with their plans to reduce 
harmful pollutants that threaten to degrade these great waters and 
allow current restoration measures to proceed.
  Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Connolly).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia 
will be postponed.
  It is now in order to consider amendment No. 7 printed in House 
Report 112-144.


                  Amendment No. 8 Offered by Mr. Cohen

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 8 
printed in House Report 112-144.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 6. PIPELINES CROSSING STREAMBEDS.

       None of the provisions of this Act, including the 
     amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to limit the 
     authority of the Administrator of the Environmental 
     Protection Agency, as in effect on the day before the date of 
     enactment of this Act, to regulate a pipeline that crosses a 
     streambed.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Tennessee.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, while on this 4th of July most Americans 
were partaking in American pastimes like barbecuing and watching ball 
games, Montanans were immersed in a new American tradition, 
unfortunately, cleaning up an oil spill. In this case, Montanans were 
working, and are still working, feverishly to clean up a 40,000 gallon 
leak from ExxonMobil's Silvertip pipeline, a spill that's having a 
devastating impact on the residents, economy, and environment in the 
State of Montana.
  As written, this legislation opens the door for more destructive 
events like the Yellowstone spill. This is why I proposed a simple, 
zero-cost amendment that will resolve this issue and continue 
protecting the American people, its environment, our economy, our water 
system from the harmful effects of pipeline spills.
  The investigation into the Yellowstone spill has made it clear that 
the

[[Page H4984]]

spill occurred because the pipeline was not buried deep enough below 
the streambed. Having only been buried 5 feet below the river, years of 
the Yellowstone River's powerful flow removed much of the sediment 
covering the pipeline to the point where the pipeline was directly 
exposed. Once exposed, the pipeline was weakened by the elements 
rapidly moving down the Yellowstone River.
  In order to bury a pipeline beneath a streambed, the company building 
the pipeline often has to rely upon and apply to the Corps of Engineers 
for a permit to dredge and fill. While the Corps has the authority to 
issue the permit, EPA has the ability to exercise oversight and ensure 
that the pipeline is sited safely and buried appropriately. This 
oversight authority is an effective, nonburdensome safety feature of 
the permitting process that serves as a backstop to Federal and State 
regulators and protects the health and safety of the American people.
  All this amendment does is ensure that this bill does not prevent the 
Environmental Protection Agency from exercising this authority. It does 
not create a new permitting requirement or process. Historically, the 
siting of pipelines has not been an issue where the Federal Government 
has exercised much oversight. And this amendment does not call for 
enhanced oversight, create a new process, or require anything more from 
pipeline owners or builders. Rather, it simply preserves the existing 
right of the Environmental Protection Agency to exercise oversight in 
egregious cases.
  Every piece of oil infrastructure, whether it's a pipeline or a drill 
rig, has backup safety features that are critical to ensure the safe 
operation of the infrastructure. Those safety backups, like the dead 
man switch on a drill rig, only function when the first set of safety 
features fail. The EPA's oversight of the Corps' dredge and fill 
permits for pipelines is just like the dead man's switch on an oil rig. 
It is only there as a backup protection in case the Corps might fail.
  And if the oil industry uses layer upon layer of backup safety 
systems, why should the Federal Government not do the same? We are the 
ultimate protector of the water of our people. With the demand for oil 
in the United States increasing, more and more pipelines are being 
proposed. Many of these pipelines will cross economically critical, 
environmentally sensitive bodies of water like the Yellowstone River. 
Significant pipeline spills like the million gallon Enbridge pipeline 
spill last year in Michigan are serious events that have real 
implications for real people. Just ask the citizens of Kalamazoo, 
Michigan, who almost a year later are recovering from that spill.

                              {time}  1610

  In order to avoid similar tragedies in the future, the Federal 
Government needs to retain the existing protections built into the 
permitting process. This amendment does that by just maintaining EPA's 
existing authority to protect the American people and ensure their 
waters are not contaminated.
  I urge passage of this important safety amendment, which will ensure 
that our Nation's pipelines are as consistent and as safe and reliable 
as Old Faithful, which resides in Yellowstone Park and whose river is 
being threatened, and I ask for support.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I wish to claim time in opposition, although 
I am not opposed.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Ohio is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GIBBS. EPA's role in regulating pipelines is minimal as compared 
to the role of other agencies. This bill would have little effect on 
regulating pipelines. Therefore, we can accept this amendment.
  Mr. COHEN. If the gentleman will yield, I thank the gentleman for 
accepting the amendment.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen).
  The amendment was agreed to.


               Amendment No. 9 Offered by Mr. Blumenauer

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 9 
printed in House Report 112-144.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Markey), I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 6. PROTECTION OF WATERS PROVIDING CERTAIN BENEFITS.

       None of the provisions of this Act, including the 
     amendments made by this Act, shall apply to waters that, as 
     determined by the Administrator of the Environmental 
     Protection Agency--
       (1) provide flood protection for communities;
       (2) are a valuable fish and wildlife habitat that provides 
     benefits to the economy; or
       (3) are coastal recreational waters.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentleman 
from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oregon.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. I yield myself 3 minutes.
  This amendment ensures protection for waters and wetlands that 
provide flood protection or economically valuable habitats for our 
coastal recreation waters.
  Healthy streams and wetlands provide vital public benefits for flood 
protection, commerce and public health. As there is an effort on the 
part of my friends on the other side of the aisle to eliminate these 
critical protections, it's important to keep that in mind.
  Pollution destroys habitat and cripples local fishing and tourism. 
There has been talk about economic development.
  Well, it costs money to deal with treating polluted waters. There are 
40 million recreational anglers in America that generate $125 billion 
in economic output, including $45 billion in retail sales and pay $16.4 
billion in State and Federal taxes.
  The sport supports over 1 million American jobs right here in the 
United States. And when a wetland is filled with sediment or drained, 
it can no longer protect towns from devastating floods.
  We have had witness over the last couple of years of this devastating 
impact. An acre of wetland provides more than $10,000 per person in 
public benefits. If you lose 1 percent of a watershed's wetland, it can 
increase flood volume by almost 7 percent. These are nature's sponges 
that we need to protect.
  It's also important to point out that not all States protect the 
quality of their water. Some States just simply don't care as much as 
other States; some States are not as capable of protecting it.
  In those States where protection is lax, the EPA must have the 
authority to step in to protect the economy, the environment, and human 
welfare for residents in that State as well as the States that are 
downstream that would also be affected. We shouldn't have Americans 
held hostage to the lowest common denominator of people who are simply 
not going to maintain the standards.
  This amendment preserves that authority for the EPA to protect 
communities who rely on water for fishing and other economic benefits, 
along with wetlands that create vital flood protection.
  Mr. Chairman, the American public strongly supports clean water. This 
has been one of the most popular pieces of legislation since it was 
enacted in the Nixon administration. It, until now, has had pretty 
broad bipartisan support.
  The legislation here represents the most aggressive attack on it, in 
my memory, in 15 years in Congress. My amendment, at least, would 
clarify this particular item.
  I urge its adoption.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. I wish to claim time in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I must strongly oppose this amendment 
because it basically aims to gut the underlying bill.
  This amendment is designed to ensure that the EPA can continue to 
unilaterally force its own one-size-fits-all

[[Page H4985]]

Federal policies onto the States' water quality programs.
  The underlying bill, H.R. 2018, reestablishes the States' balanced 
role in carrying out the provisions of the Clean Water Act; but this 
amendment, in effect, says that the underlying bill will not apply 
virtually anywhere the Clean Water Act applies.
  Implicitly, this amendment also says that the States cannot be 
trusted in protecting the quality of their waters and the health of 
their citizens, and the Federal Government knows best.
  Once States have approved clean water programs, they are capable of 
administering their programs and caring for the welfare of their 
citizens. EPA needs to be more respectful of the decisions made by the 
States in those circumstances.
  H.R. 2018 is a good bill that restores balance to an out-of-control 
U.S. EPA. The intent of this amendment is to make the bill completely 
unworkable. I would also add that I think that the Clean Water Act has 
worked until now when the States have been usurped of their authority 
and ability to enforce the State and Federal EPA environmental laws.
  I urge all Members to oppose this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon has 2 minutes remaining.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I would yield 1 minute to my friend and 
colleague from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio), a gentleman who deeply understands 
the importance of this amendment.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Well, the gentleman that just preceded me said this 
would gut this bill. He is right, it would gut this bill which deserves 
to be gutted.
  This bill would take us back to pre-Clean Water Act standards. He 
says, oh, the States, if they have standards, shouldn't be bothered by 
the EPA. Well, this bill says if a State has adopted standards on 
paper, but they choose not to enforce them and they are out of 
compliance, the EPA can take no action.
  It further says that if we discover a new harmful pollutant, as we 
did recently when we upgraded the standards for arsenic, most of us 
don't want our kids drinking arsenic in the water. The EPA cannot 
enforce new national standards if we discover a new dangerous pollutant 
unless the State agrees. It's optional; it's up to the State.
  And then, of course, if you happen to be a State downstream from a 
State that is choosing to kind of stick it to its own people by not 
adopting the highest standards, or not even enforcing their existing 
standards, you are downstream, you don't have any choice. You have no 
recourse.
  This bill is absurd in terms of the fact that it is just designed to 
totally gut the Clean Water Act and turn back the clock to the good old 
days when we had rivers that burned.
  Mr. GIBBS. I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. I yield the balance of my time to the distinguished 
gentleman from Long Island, New York (Mr. Bishop), who has some 
experience with problems of water pollution and erosion.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 1 
minute.
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
thank the gentleman for offering this amendment, along with Mr. Markey 
and Mr. DeFazio.
  Mr. Chairman, if H.R. 2018 were enacted as drafted, it would restrict 
the EPA's ability to protect the Nation's waters from pollution. As we 
know, if pollution is allowed to increase due to the dueling interests 
of States, many sources of clean drinking water would be imperiled, 
valuable fish and wildlife habitat would be endangered and coastal 
recreational waters, like the shores of my Long Island, would be at 
risk, along with all the economic benefits these resources provide.
  The Markey-DeFazio-Blumenauer amendment simply restricts the 
provisions of this bill from endangering waters that provide flood 
protection for communities, our valuable fish and wildlife habitat or 
our coastal recreational waters that are the backbone of my district's 
economy. In fact, my district will face real economic danger if this 
bill is not amended, not to mention the environmental danger that my 
district and districts all over this country will face.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

                              {time}  1620

  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to comment on the comments 
from my colleague from Oregon talking about a new pollutant. Well, 
under H.R. 2018, if there's a new pollutant out there and it comes in 
and it is not in an already State-approved plan, the State has to take 
action, and the EPA and the State have to work cooperatively to develop 
a new plan to address that issue. So I think if the issue of arsenic 
came up, they would have to work that out cooperatively.
  And the comment about States won't take action, I can't believe that 
a State EPA is not going to take action. Oregon--maybe they're not 
going to take action in Oregon. It's hard for me to believe that. But I 
don't think this amendment is necessary, and I oppose the amendment.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chair, I rise today in strong support of the 
amendment offered by Mr. Markey, of which I am proud to be a cosponsor.
  Many of us have seen iconic images of the Cuyahoga River burning in 
the 1950s. Sadly, this was not an isolated event--the Cuyahoga caught 
fire numerous times. The reason for these fires was that the river was 
heavily, heavily contaminated with flammable industrial waste.
  This water was dangerous to drink and to swim in. Fish and wildlife 
could not survive. Flooding in this river would have spread pollution 
onto shore and into neighborhoods and homes. In short, this pollution 
was dangerous for the health of the people and communities that 
depended on the river.
  It was incidents like these that helped raised public awareness of 
the dangers of water pollution.
  Ultimately, that awareness became government action--including the 
creation of the EPA in 1970, and passage of the Clean Water Act in 
1972.
  The EPA's purpose is simple: to protect human health and the 
environment. It does this by acting as a referee between the states--
working to ensure minimum standards for water quality nationwide. These 
standards help to ensure an even playing field for states and 
businesses, while preserving safe, adequate water supplies for our 
children and communities.
  The underlying bill we are considering, the so-called ``Clean Water 
Cooperative Federalism Act'' is deeply flawed, primarily because it 
seems to forget a critical point--watersheds, coastlines, and waterways 
don't always end at state boundaries.
  Our amendment is also simple. It preserves the EPA's current role in 
protecting certain bodies of water. Specifically, water bodies that 
provide flood protection for communities, valuable fish and wildlife 
habitats, and coastal recreation.
  Our rivers, coastlines, and wetlands are the places that we take our 
children to experience the wonder of our country. This is where their 
interests in the natural sciences and the outdoors are kindled. And 
this is where we should expect them to be safe from chemicals, 
industrial waste, and other pollutants.
  Our amendment will help to preserve the natural resources that 
transcend state boundaries--and benefit the health and vitality of 
communities across the nation.
  I hope that my colleagues will join us in supporting this amendment.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Chair, I rise today to protect the Clean Water Act 
and in support of the amendment offered by Representatives Markey (MA), 
DeFazio (OR), Capps (CA), Blumenauer (OR), Capuano (MA), Napolitano 
(CA) and Hirono (HI). Since the passage of the Clean Water Act our 
waterways have gotten cleaner and our public health has improved. 
Thanks to the Clean Water Act, the United States has achieved 
significant gains in public health, a cleaner environment, and a 
stronger more sustainable economy.
  The Clean Water Act, CWA, is one of our nation's greatest 
environmental laws, safeguarding our rivers, lakes, and streams and 
protecting the health and safety of our drinking water. The CWA was 
enacted as a bipartisan effort almost a half century ago, coming on the 
heels of several rivers catching on fire, including the Cuayahoga River 
in 1969, and the decimation of Lake Erie's fisheries due to pollution. 
Under the current Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, 
EPA, has taken significant actions to improve the safety of our 
drinking water, and continues to protect of our nation's waterways.
  There is no right more basic than the right to safe drinking water, 
and that right depends on unpolluted source waters. The Clean Water Act 
protects our water from heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, 
dangerous pathogens like

[[Page H4986]]

E. coli, and other toxins. Clean drinking water is basic to our very 
survival.
  The amendment before us would ensure that if this bill, H.R. 2018, 
ever made it into law, it would not endanger the safety protections 
provided under the Clean Water Act for waters that provide flood 
protection for communities, are a valuable fish and wildlife habitat 
that provide benefits to the economy, or are coastal recreational 
waters. We cannot sacrifice our waterways for the interests of big 
polluters.
  The nation's fish and wildlife habitats and recreational waters are 
fruitful economic drivers for local communities, especially in the area 
I proudly represent on Lake Ontario. According to a recent study, 
900,000 recreational boaters using Great Lakes harbors spend 
approximately $2.35 billion annually on boating trips and another $1.4 
billion to purchase and maintain their watercraft. This supports 60,000 
jobs in the region and generates $1.7 billion in annual personal 
income. The CWA has served an integral part in cleaning up and 
maintaining the health of our waters, and therefore boosting the health 
of our local economies.
  A strong Clean Water Act has moved us beyond the days of rivers on 
fire. However, there is still more to be done. State and EPA data 
reveal that 44 percent of assessed river and stream miles and 64 
percent of assessed lake acres do not meet relevant water quality 
standards. Now is the time to support the efforts of the EPA as the 
agency works to ensure we all have access to clean water.
  I urge my colleagues to support the Markey amendment so that our 
environment and local economies remain protected under the Clean Water 
Act. We must reject any effort to repeal our valuable protections, and 
recommit our pledge to the American people to work toward a cleaner, 
healthier, more prosperous future.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of Amendment 9 to H.R. 2018, 
the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 and to oppose the 
underlying bill, which would overturn almost forty years of Federal 
legislation by preventing EPA from protecting public health and water 
quality. H.R. 2018 will turn the Clean Water Act into the Dirty Water 
Act.
  Let me paint a picture of what my hometown rivers, the Malden, the 
Mystic and the Charles, looked like forty years ago. Raw sewage flowed 
into the river from outmoded wastewater treatment plants. Toxic 
discharges from industrial facilities colored the river pink and 
orange. Fish kills, submerged cars and appliances, leaching riverbank 
landfills, and noxious odors were common occurrences.
  Because of the Clean Water Act, polluted rivers are being relegated 
to the history books like the water-powered textile mills on these 
rivers that started the Industrial Revolution in the United States. 
Using sound science, cutting-edge technologies and by making polluters 
pay, EPA and its partners have made remarkable progress in restoring 
these rivers. The award-winning River's Edge Park on the shores of the 
Malden River is a testament to the economic development that follows 
the implementation of environmental laws.
  My amendment to H.R. 2018 would ensure that any waters that EPA 
determines provides flood protection for communities, or are valuable 
fish and wildlife habitat that provide benefits to the economy, or are 
coastal recreational waters would continue to be protected. Our clean 
rivers must not return to their polluted past.
  My amendment would also protect the progress made to restore fishing 
and swimming on sections of the Connecticut River, New England's 
longest river, by ensuring federal protection for rivers that run 
through more than one state.
  The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that protecting wetlands along 
the Charles River in Boston saves as much as $17 million annually in 
averted flood damage, and economists estimate that each acre of wetland 
provides more than $10,000 per person in public benefits each year.
  The song ``Dirty Water'' is played after every Red Sox home win. The 
song memorializes the polluted Charles and Boston Harbor. And while 
those of us in Boston love the song, we like our new, clean, healthy 
Charles River more. Support my amendment and keep this song as an 
oldie, instead of turning it into a modern hit on the demise of the 
Clean Water Act.
  Mr. GIBBS. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oregon will 
be postponed.


                Amendment No. 10 Offered by Mr. Carnahan

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 10 
printed in House Report 112-144.
  Mr. CARNAHAN. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 6. PROTECTION OF WATERS AFFECTED BY FLOODING DISASTERS.

       None of the provisions of this Act, including the 
     amendments made by this Act, shall apply to--
       (1) waters that are located in an area for which the 
     President has declared, at any time during the preceding 5-
     year period, a major disaster under the Robert T. Stafford 
     Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 
     et seq.) due to flooding; or
       (2) other waters that contributed to such a declaration.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 347, the gentleman 
from Missouri (Mr. Carnahan) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Missouri.
  Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Chair, 2011 is already the costliest year for 
natural disasters in history. Over $250 billion in economic damages 
have already been incurred around the world. In the U.S. alone, storms, 
flooding, wildfires, and earthquakes have already done roughly $27 
billion in damage, more than double the annual average over the last 
decade.
  Living near the confluence of our country's two greatest rivers, the 
Mississippi and the Missouri, my constituents in the St. Louis region 
have rebuilt from floods many times, and we understand the challenges 
facing communities across the Nation during this unprecedented season 
of floods.
  Even after the cleanup has begun, flood-affected communities face the 
prospect of public health epidemics spread by dirty water, in effect, 
creating a double crisis for communities already struggling to pick up 
the pieces. We have all seen the shocking images from cities large and 
small along the Mississippi this spring, and the last thing these 
communities need are weakened clean water standards that would put them 
at risk of water-borne diseases or even toxic chemicals.
  My amendment to H.R. 2018 would ensure that communities recovering 
from devastating floods would not be burdened by the public health 
threats posed by dirty water. It simply states that none of the 
provisions of H.R. 2018 would apply where the President has declared a 
disaster due to flooding within the past 5 years or to waters that have 
contributed to such a flood.
  This is a commonsense amendment. It will help reassure flood-affected 
communities that their water is safe and healthy. I urge my colleagues 
to stand up for flood-affected communities across the country by voting 
in favor of the Carnahan amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I wish to claim time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. GIBBS. Under the gentleman from Missouri's amendment, if a State 
has made a disaster declaration any time in the last 5 years, H.R. 2018 
would not be applicable to waters in the area. This amendment would 
continue to allow the EPA to overturn State-established and U.S. EPA-
approved water quality standards and unilaterally impose federally 
dictated permitting and other regulatory requirements on States and 
other disaster responders. This, in turn, would impact on the ability 
of States and other disaster responders to respond to and conduct 
cleanups after major flood disasters and would discourage States from 
seeking disaster assistance.
  I urge all Members to oppose the Carnahan amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Carnahan).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by

[[Page H4987]]

the gentleman from Missouri will be postponed.
  Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Gibbs) having assumed the chair, Mr. McClintock, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2018) to 
amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to preserve the authority 
of each State to make determinations relating to the State's water 
quality standards, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution 
thereon.

                          ____________________