Ipswich River, Newburyport

Vote Explanation for H.R. 953 — Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017

At a time when environmental protections are under assault more than ever before, I voted against H.R. 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. A more accurate name for this bill would be Reducing Regulatory Protections Act, since this legislation would exempt the use of pesticides and fungicides from Clean Water Act permitting requirements, essentially opening the door for increased pollution of our waterways.

H.R. 953 would override a 2009 court decision that pesticides applied over or near waters should be treated as pollutants under the Clean Water Act, and directed the EPA to impose permitting requirements.

Last Congress, House Republicans attempted to pass this legislation by disguising it as a response to the Zika outbreak, referring to it as the Zika Vector Control Act, which I voted against.

With nearly two thousand U.S. waterways already contaminated by pesticides, Congress should be preventing the further polluting of our waters.