Text: H.R.962 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/27/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 962 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 962

    To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify the 
  jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 27, 2003

  Mr. Oberstar (for himself, Mr. Dingell, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. Leach, Mr. 
Hoeffel, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Ms. Baldwin, Ms. 
 Norton, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Boehlert, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. 
Schakowsky, Mr. Markey, Mr. George Miller of California, Mr. Visclosky, 
Mr. Inslee, Mr. Nadler, Mrs. Napolitano, and Mrs. Tauscher) introduced 
      the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                   Transportation and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify the 
  jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Clean Water Authority Restoration 
Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are as follows:
            (1) To reaffirm the original intent of Congress in enacting 
        the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (86 
        Stat. 816) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and 
        biological integrity of the waters of the United States.
            (2) To clearly define the waters of the United States that 
        are subject to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
            (3) To provide protection to the waters of the United 
        States to the fullest extent of the legislative authority of 
        Congress under the Constitution.

SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Water is a unique and precious resource that is 
        necessary to sustain human life and the life of animals and 
        plants.
            (2) Water is used not only for human, animal, and plant 
        consumption, but is also important for agriculture, 
        transportation, flood control, energy production, recreation, 
        fishing and shellfishing, and municipal and commercial uses.
            (3) In enacting amendments to the Federal Water Pollution 
        Control Act in 1972 and through subsequent amendment, including 
        the Clean Water Act of 1977 (91 Stat. 1566) and the Water 
        Quality Act of 1987 (101 Stat. 7), Congress established the 
        national objective of restoring and maintaining the chemical, 
        physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the United 
        States and recognized that achieving this objective requires 
        uniform, minimum national water quality and aquatic ecosystem 
        protection standards to restore and maintain the natural 
        structures and functions of the aquatic ecosystems of the 
        United States.
            (4) Water is transported through interconnected hydrologic 
        cycles, and the pollution, impairment, or destruction of any 
        part of an aquatic system may affect the chemical, physical, 
        and biological integrity of other parts of the aquatic system.
            (5) Protection of intrastate waters, along with other 
        waters of the United States, is necessary to restore and 
        maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of 
        all waters in the United States.
            (6) The regulation of discharges of pollutants into 
        interstate and intrastate waters is an integral part of the 
        comprehensive clean water regulatory program of the United 
        States.
            (7) Small and periodically-flowing streams comprise the 
        majority of all stream channels in the United States and serve 
        critical biological and hydrological functions that affect 
        entire watersheds, including reducing the introduction of 
        pollutants to large streams and rivers, and especially 
        affecting the life cycles of aquatic organisms and the flow of 
        higher order streams during floods.
            (8) The pollution or other degradation of waters of the 
        United States, individually and in the aggregate, has a 
        substantial relation to and effect on interstate commerce.
            (9) Protection of the waters of the United States, 
        including intrastate waters, is necessary to prevent 
        significant harm to interstate commerce and sustain a robust 
        system of interstate commerce in the future.
            (10) Waters, including wetlands, provide protection from 
        flooding, and draining or filling wetlands and channelizing or 
        filling streams, including intrastate wetlands and streams, can 
        cause or exacerbate flooding, placing a significant burden on 
        interstate commerce.
            (11) Millions of people in the United States depend on 
        wetlands and other waters of the United States to filter water 
        and recharge surface and subsurface drinking water supplies, 
        protect human health, and create economic opportunity.
            (12) Millions of people in the United States enjoy 
        recreational activities that depend on intrastate waters, such 
        as waterfowl hunting, bird watching, fishing, and photography 
        and other graphic arts, and those activities and associated 
        travel generate billions of dollars of income each year for the 
        travel, tourism, recreation, and sporting sectors of the 
        economy of the United States.
            (13) Activities that result in the discharge of pollutants 
        into waters of the United States are commercial or economic in 
        nature.
            (14) States have the responsibility and right to prevent, 
        reduce, and eliminate pollution of waters, and the Federal 
        Water Pollution Control Act respects the rights and 
        responsibilities of States by preserving for States the ability 
        to manage permitting, grant, and research programs to prevent, 
        reduce, and eliminate pollution, and to establish standards and 
        programs more protective of a State's waters than is provided 
        under Federal standards and programs.
            (15) Protecting the quality of and regulating activities 
        affecting the waters of the United States is a necessary and 
        proper means of implementing treaties to which the United 
        States is a party, including treaties protecting species of 
        fish, birds, and wildlife.
            (16) Protecting the quality of and regulating activities 
        affecting the waters of the United States is a necessary and 
        proper means of protecting Federal land, including hundreds of 
        millions of acres of parkland, refuge land, and other land 
        under Federal ownership and the wide array of waters 
        encompassed by that land.
            (17) Protecting the quality of and regulating activities 
        affecting the waters of the United States is necessary to 
        protect Federal land and waters from discharges of pollutants 
        and other forms of degradation.

SEC. 4. DEFINITION OF WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES.

    Section 502 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
1362) is amended--
            (1) by striking paragraph (7);
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (8) through (23) as 
        paragraphs (7) through (22), respectively; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(23) Waters of the united states.--The term `waters of 
        the United States' means all waters subject to the ebb and flow 
        of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and 
        intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, 
        rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, 
        sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, 
        playa lakes, natural ponds, and all impoundments of the 
        foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters, or 
        activities affecting these waters, are subject to the 
        legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.''.

SEC. 5. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

    The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``navigable waters of the United States'' 
        each place it appears and inserting ``waters of the United 
        States'';
            (2) in section 304(l)(1) by striking ``navigable waters'' 
        in the heading and inserting ``waters of the united states''; 
        and
            (3) by striking ``navigable waters'' each place it appears 
        and inserting ``waters of the United States''.
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