By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee June 10 passed an ARTBA-supported measure blocking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from expanding wetlands jurisdiction to include roadside ditches and other bodies of water. The measure, if enacted, would force EPA to withdraw its May 27 final rule defining “waters of the United States.”

In a May 18 letter of support for the legislation, ARTBA stated, “Roadside ditches are not, and should not be regulated as, traditional jurisdictional wetlands since they are an essential part of any transportation improvement project and contribute to the public health and safety of the nation by dispersing water from roadways.”

The Senate EPW Committee approved the “Federal Water Quality Protection Act” (S. 1140) in an 11-9 party line vote (all Republicans supported and all Democrats opposed).  No date has been set for consideration of the measure by the full Senate.

The full House of Representatives passed companion legislation, the “Regulatory Integrity Protection Act” (H.R. 1732), with a 216-155 bipartisan vote on May 12.

Read ARTBA’s letter of support for S.1140.