Gardner Introduces El Paso County Commissioner at Committee Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today introduced El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark as a witness at a joint hearing between the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure focused on the impacts on state and local governments of a proposed rule to expand federal regulation of waters under the Clean Water Act. As prepared, Gardner’s remarks read, in part:

“I am honored to introduce Commissioner Sallie Clark of El Paso County, Colorado, who is testifying on behalf of the National Association of Counties. Commissioner Clark serves as the First Vice President of the National Association of Counties, and has been a longtime advocate for Colorado, local government, and unwarranted federal mandates on our States.

“If the proposed Waters of the United States rule goes forward as planned, the results for Coloradans will be devastating.  It will mean increased regulation and unattainable standards for many ditches, ponds, and flood plans. I have opposed this proposed rule, in its entirety, since it was first listed in the Federal Register.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s own study, 68 percent of the streams in Colorado are intermittent, which means this proposal will have major impacts on all Coloradans, including the energy and agricultural sectors.

“Last Congress, I had the opportunity to ask EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy if she was familiar with Colorado water law as compared with other States’ water laws.  The Administrator answered that she was not familiar, which exposed this regulation’s greatest flaw – the regulation is a creature of Washington D.C.’s bureaucratic approach.  The EPA needs to go back to the drawing board and adequately consult the States and consider potential actions that could harm a State’s ability to manage their own waters.

“I support public safety, environmental protections, and clean water, but will oppose overreaching attempts by our federal government that are unconstitutional and harmful to economic success. I thank Commissioner Clark for being here today and I encourage Members to use Commissioner Clark as a resource today on what this federal overreach could mean for Colorado counties and constituents.”