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House Challenges EPA On TMDL Proposal

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From: PNEAC Webmaster (
Date: Tue Nov 09 1999 - 16:15:43 CST

Members of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Oversight, Nutrition, and
Forestry challenged the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) to propose revisions to the total maximum daily loads (TMDL)
program without legislative approval. The subcommittee questioned EPA
Assistant Administrator for Water Chuck Fox in an October 28 hearing. The
discussion focused on EPA's August 23 proposal, which would set new
schedules for completing TMDLs, allow states to prioritize waters requiring
attention, and expand the permitting program. Agriculture and forestry
interests are concerned that farmers and tree harvesters may be required to
obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. Several
representatives of farming and forestry sad EPA had acted unlawfully and
against the recommendations of a Federal Advisory Committee on the
proposal. EPA believes that Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act provides
sufficient authority for the proposal, Fox said. Fox added that Congress
may use the Congressional Review Act to consider the EPA proposal and raise
objections. "That's not how democracy is supposed to work," said Rep.
Virgil Goode (D-VA). ""It's not up to the regulatory body to take action
and then sit back and see if it gets past Congress." (SRT)

Gary Jones

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