House accepts GOP amendment to water bill, rejects most from Dems

In late Wednesday votes, members accepted an amendment from Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) to require the EPA to analyze the impact of certain actions on employment levels and require a hearing when an action has more than a de minims impact. This was approved in a 268-152.

Members did accept two Democratic amendments by voice vote. One from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) clarifies that nothing in the bill can limit the EPA's authority to regulate a pipeline that crosses a streamed.

The other, from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), requires the EPA to submit to Congress a report on any increase in pathogenic microorganisms in waters regulated by a state under the bill. Republicans said they would accept the amendment if it were altered to require EPA to also report on any reduction in these microorganisms.

But more substantive amendments offered by Democrats were all turned away, after which the House moved to vote on final passage of the bill. Amendments that were turned away were from:

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), strike language prohibiting the EPA from setting standards for states under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. Failed 170-252.

Jared Polis (D-Colo.), exclude from this act permit holders who are on the significant non-compliance list. Failed 191-231.

Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), block application of the law where federal funding is provided. Failed 181-240.

Ed Markey (D-Mass.), exclude from coverage any water that EPA determines provides flood protection for communities, are a fish and wildlife habitat, or are coastal recreational waters. Failed 183-237.

Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), restrict application of the bill if a major disaster was declared in the area in the last five years. Failed 173-247.

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), strike the entire bill. Failed 167-254.

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