After passing the Highway funding Bill, the Senate passed S.J. Res. 22, a measure to strike the new Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” rule, by a vote of 53–44. For manufacturers, the regulation would subject an almost limitless number of new areas to permitting uncertainty, causing additional construction costs and environmental modeling burdens and delays, as well as potentially exposing facilities to administrative actions and litigation.
Earlier in the week, the NAM key-voted S. 1140, introduced by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), which would have struck the regulation and set a process for reissuing a clear and reasonable definition for waters with stakeholder input. However, the bill failed to receive consideration due to a Senate parliamentary procedure.
A federal appeals court’s nationwide stay is blocking the waters rule until the legal challenges are resolved. The court concluded that the NAM and other groups challenging the rule “demonstrated a substantial possibility of success” in their case. Since the EPA published its new regulation, lawsuits by dozens of business organizations, companies, environmental groups and states have been filed around the country. For more information about the impacts on manufacturers, visit the NAM’s water regulations webpage.
Senator Blunt spoke out in favor of S.J. Res. 22, and voted for its passage. Senator McCaskill voted against the resolution, but for procedural reasons, according to her spokesman. To read more about Thursday’s vote, please click here to read the St. Louis Post Dispatch article which goes into much more detail.
Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.