Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it will propose a rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction and solicit public comment on a report on “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters.”

Chairman Smith: “The EPA wants to use this study to justify a massive regulatory power grab under the Clean Water Act.  The agency’s own Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) has not yet reviewed the study or EPA’s draft rule to ensure that the science is sound and the data backs up the EPA’s claims.  But rather than allow time for independent review with input from Congress and the public, the EPA is rushing forward with a proposed rule that is based on the unverified results of the study.  This rushed rulemaking is a clear attempt to use the study to rubber stamp the Obama administration’s pre-determined regulatory agenda.

“The study could be used to expand EPA’s control far beyond interstate waters, stripping away the power of states and allowing the EPA to regulate virtually every mud puddle in America.  The EPA should slow down, and allow a full and fair review of the study in context by the public and independent scientists. The Committee will closely evaluate the report and the rule in order to ensure that independent, objective and transparent science guides the EPA and the agency’s Science Advisory Board.”