Clean water amendment fails on the Senate floor article The Senate voted to kill President Trump’s executive order to slash federal environmental regulations, but the Senate will now take up an amendment to stop it from taking effect.
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is sponsoring an amendment that would block the EPA from implementing the Clean Water Act’s Clean Water Rule, which would limit the federal government’s ability to regulate waterways and waters under its jurisdiction.
Udall said the amendment would prevent states from enacting their own environmental regulations to help fight the threat of climate change.
The Senate is expected to take up the amendment Thursday.
The EPA is expected soon to finalize a rule to limit pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Udal said in a statement Thursday that the EPA’s proposed rule would impose a nationwide ban on the use of methane, an odorless, poisonous gas that can leach from power plants, which is linked to acid rain.
Methane is also known as “black carbon” because of its color.
Udals amendment would require states to make their own plans to combat the pollution.
He said the EPA is “overreaching” with the proposed rule and that it “is not necessary” to impose new regulations on existing sources of pollution.
The rule is expected for a vote in the Senate on Monday.
The amendment was introduced in the spring of 2018, but stalled before it was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The committee was tasked with considering whether to pass Udalls proposal.
Udalls amendment would allow states to enact regulations to curb pollution from power generation and industrial activities.
It would also require the EPA to submit a plan to Congress within 60 days to determine how the rule would be enforced.
It’s the second time in the last two years that the Senate has rejected an amendment related to climate change, following a similar measure that failed in the House last week.
Udas amendment would also allow states, counties and cities to sue to block the rule if they felt they were being targeted for pollution and were harmed by the rule.
It does not specifically address methane, but it does propose to create a court system to try such cases.
The White House and the EPA have not responded to a request for comment.
Udass said his amendment would be effective immediately, and that he expects it to be adopted in the coming days.
“We are not going to allow this rule to be implemented,” he said.
“If the EPA can’t implement the rule it should not be on the books.”
Udals proposal comes as he is expected on Thursday to unveil a draft plan for the EPA, which he is planning to put forward in his first public appearance since being elected to the Senate in 2014.
Udons proposal also calls for creating a separate agency for pollution control, one that could also be used to regulate oil and gas extraction.
It calls for the agency to “be empowered to develop policies to address environmental and public health risks related to oil and natural gas production and consumption.”
The plan is expected be released in a public hearing Thursday.
Udasses draft proposal also includes a new plan to reduce carbon pollution from existing sources and increase funding for renewable energy, which includes electric vehicles.
Udallas’ proposal also seeks to end federal mandates that require businesses to pay for greenhouse gas emissions, and for the federal Government to create an “independent” environmental assessment agency to make policy recommendations.