Press Releases

Shuster to Chair Congressional Hearing on the Federal Regulation of Waters and Impacts of the Administration’s Overreach on Local Economies and Jobs

Washington, DC, Apr 24 | Jim Billimoria, Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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The U.S. Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, chaired by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), will hold a field hearing in Altoona, PA next week to focus on the potential impacts of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to significantly broaden federal power to regulate waters and wet areas, and on the effects of tightened Corps of Engineers permitting requirements for stream crossings of natural gas collector lines constructed in Pennsylvania.

In recent weeks, the Obama Administration has continued its push to ostensibly “clarify” which waterbodies are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, but the results of this proposed federal agency rulemaking will in effect unilaterally and significantly broaden the scope of the federal government’s reach. This hearing will look at the potential consequences of this expansion on Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s economy, businesses, farmers, and landowners, as well as the rights of states, local governments, and individuals.

In addition, the hearing will examine the permitting process for constructing gathering lines over streams, related to the development and collection of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region.  Decisions by the Corps of Engineers have led to a different, and more stringent, standard for approval of these gathering line stream crossings in Pennsylvania, significantly slowing the permitting process and impeding the development of energy resources and the creation of jobs in Pennsylvania.

The hearing, entitled “Federal Regulation of Waters: Impacts of Administration Overreach on Local Economies and Job Creation,” is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014 at Ballroom 1, Blair County Convention Center, One Convention Center Drive, Altoona, PA 16602.

Witnesses:

  • Mr. Ken Murin, Chief, Division of Wetlands, Encroachment and Training; Bureau of Waterways, Engineering and Wetlands; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Mr. David Spigelmyer, President, Marcellus Shale Coalition
  • Ms. Tonya Winkler, AICP, Midstream Permitting and Compliance Manager, Rice Energy, LP
  • Mr. Warren Peter, President, Warren Peter Construction; on behalf of the Indiana-Armstrong Builders Association, Pennsylvania Builders Association, and National Association of Home Builders
  • Mr. Thomas R. Nagle, Jr., on behalf of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
  • Ms. Jacqueline Fidler, Manager-Environmental Resources, CONSOL Energy 
  • More information about the hearing, including testimony, additional background information, and live webcast, will be posted here as it becomes available. 

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