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Legislation and Laws

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Final ARRA SRF Guidance(March 2, 2009)
Draft Final SRF Allotment to States under the jobs recovery bill - see documents below

Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Information on ECOS' work related to Clean Water Act jurisdiction issues can be accessed here.

Clean Water Act Reauthorization Legislation
The U.S. House of Representatives on March 12 passed, H.R. 1262, the Water Quality Investment Act of 2009. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) introduced the bill with nine cosponsors just a week earlier. H.R. 1262 authorizes $13.8 billion in Federal grants over five years to capitalize Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRFs).
Read the Committee's Summary: H.R. 1262 or, read the bill on Thomas.
Review the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's State-by-State allocation of the funds.

Six State Associations Send Committee Leadership a Letter on Legislative Solution to CWA Jurisdiction
ECOS, ASIWPCA, AF&WA, ASWM, CSO and ASFPM joined forces to urge the Congress to pass a bill that adopts EPA's regulatory definition of "waters of the U.S." and to make State Assumption of Section 404 a viable option.
Read the April 23, 2009 letter here: State’Association Letter to Congress

Clean Water Restoration Act Introduced in 111th Congress

On April 2, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and 23 co-sponsors introduced the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 (S.787) in the Senate. Cosponsors included Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the EPW Water and Wildlife Subcommittee.

The new bill includes a substantially strengthened findings section (Sec. 2 Purposes) when compared to the bill introduced into the previous (110th) Congress. The number of findings increases from 17 to 33, and the new findings provide added clarity, factual information, and legal arguments to describe the purpose of the amendment and strengthen its statutory and constitutional underpinnings. Changes in the definition of waters, conforming amendments, and savings clause sections of the bill are minimal.

1) nState clearly that the intent of the amendment is to return jurisdiction to pre-SWANCC, Carabell/Rapanos jurisdiction;

2) Clarify that existing exemptions for agriculture, silviculture, etc. remain in place;

3) Provide factual information identifying benefits broadly enjoyed by the public at large from achieving the goals of the Act including clean drinking water, abundant wildlife, and protection from flooding; and

4) Provide a factual basis for invoking constitutional authorities beyond the commerce clause.

The new language in the bill is nuanced and will require careful review to fully assess the effect of the changes. ECOS will be undertaking a more careful assessment in the coming weeks.