Summary: S.376 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.376. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/07/2019)

Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2019

This bill revises the scope, jurisdiction, and requirements of the Clean Water Act.

It specifies the types of water bodies that are navigable waters and therefore receive protection. It defines navigable waters as waters of the United States that are (1) navigable-in-fact; or (2) permanent, standing, or continuously flowing bodies of water that form geographical features commonly known as streams, oceans, rivers, and lakes that are connected to waters that are navigable-in-fact.

The bill limits the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over such waters, including by stating that ground water is under the jurisdiction of states. The bill prohibits the EPA from using a significant nexus test to determine federal jurisdiction over navigable waters and waters of the United States.

The bill nullifies the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, the Migratory Bird rule, and a related guidance document issued in 2008. The bill prohibits the EPA and the Corps from issuing new rules or guidance that expands or interprets the definition of navigable waters unless expressly authorized by Congress.

Federal agencies must obtain consent from private property owners to collect information about navigable waters on their land. If regulations relating to navigable waters or waters of United States diminish the value of a property, then the federal government must pay the property owner an amount equal to twice the value of the loss.