The Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of finalizing a new “Waters of the United States” regulation that would greatly expand the agency’s control over U.S. waters, and may even give the EPA the power to regulate ponds, ditches and puddles.
Republican lawmakers, however, are pushing back against the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, warning the agency may have inappropriately lobbied and worked with environmental campaign activists to inflate the support behind the agency’s water takeover.
“Given the magnitude and controversy surrounding the EPA’s rulemaking agenda, it is very troubling that EPA has engaged in a propaganda campaign to inflate the number of public comments submitted in support of specific proposed rules,” Republicans on the House Science Committee wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Republican concerns over the EPA teaming up with green groups to push President Barack Obama’s agenda comes after The New York Times’s Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton published an article detailing how the agency used social media and environmental activist allies to publicly promote its WOTUS rule. Lawmakers are now asking for agency documents and communications behind the EPA’s campaign to build public support. Lawmakers argue this is another troubling episode in the EPA’s history of collusion with environmental groups.
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