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House Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureWater Resources and EnvironmentIntroducedOctober 29th, 2013
- house Committees
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Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2013
To clarify the definition of navigable waters, and for other purposes.
Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2013 - Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to redefine "navigable waters" to specify that included territorial seas are those that are: (1) navigable-in-fact; or (2) permanent or continuously flowing bodies of water that form geographical features commonly known as streams, oceans, rivers, and lakes that are connected to waters that are navigable-in-fact. Excludes from such term: (1) waters that do not physically abut navigable waters and lack a continuous surface water connection to navigable waters; (2) man-made or natural structures or channels through which water flows intermittently or ephemerally, or that periodically provide drainage for rainfall; or (3) wetlands without a continuous surface connection to bodies of water that are waters of the United States. Prohibits activities carried out by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Army Corps of Engineers from impinging upon states' power over land and water use. Prohibits: (1) aggregation of such excluded wetlands or waters from being used to determine or assert federal jurisdiction, and (2) wetlands without a continuous surface connection to bodies of water that are waters of the United States from being considered to be under federal jurisdiction. Authorizes states or individual property owners to obtain judicial review of jurisdictional determinations by the Administrator or the Secretary of the Army that would affect their ability to plan the development and use of land and water resources within 30 days after such a determination. Considers groundwater to be state water. Prohibits groundwater from being considered in determining or asserting federal jurisdiction over isolated or other waters. Prohibits the Administrator from using a significant nexus test to determine federal jurisdiction over navigable waters and waters of the United States. Nullifies: (1) the Corps' rule entitled "Final Rule for Regulatory Programs of the Corps of Engineers," (2) EPA's proposed rule entitled "Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act Regulatory Definition of 'Waters of the United States,'" (3) the guidance document entitled "Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision in Rapanos v. United States & Carabell v. United States (relating to the definition of waters under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act), and (4) any subsequent regulation or guidance issued by federal agencies that defines or interprets the term "navigable waters." Prohibits the Corps and EPA from promulgating rules or issuing guidance that expands or interprets the definition of navigable waters unless expressly authorized by Congress. Sets forth provisions requiring federal agencies to obtain consent of private property owners prior to entering their land to collect information about navigable waters. Requires federal agencies that issue regulations that relate to the definition of navigable waters or waters of the United States and diminish the fair market value or economic viability of a property to pay the affected property owner an amount equal to twice the value of the loss. Gives no force or effect to such regulation until landowners with such claims have been compensated.