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House Amendment Broadens Ag Exemptions to WOTUS

House Republicans continue to restrict and modify the Obama administration’s plan to define the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act via the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule. An amendment that the House adopted to the Energy and Water spending bill (HR 4923) last week would broaden agricultural exemptions to the law’s Section 404 permitting requirements. The provision would ensure that land is exempt even if it is converted from grazing land to cropland or when fallow land is farmed again. The amendment was approved 239-182. The bill already contains language to block the administration from finalizing a rule defining the law’s jurisdiction.

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