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U.S. National Debt:

The Impacts Of EPA Regulations

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

Business owners know to plan for change.  In our evolving, global economy, they understand that there will be ups and downs due to market and policy changes.  They understand that operating a business, whether it is a ranch, farm or retail store, involves risks.  However, they should be able to expect that our government will not pursue federal policies when the benefits do not outweigh the costs.  Unfortunately, there are too many examples of federal regulations that make it harder to do business and maintain jobs while providing little benefit to their intended purposes.

I recently asked Idahoans for input about personal experience with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations affecting their daily lives and ability to do business.  The experiences submitted help illustrate to my colleagues in Congress and the Administration the impacts of over-regulation on the lives of Idaho families, the economy and job creation.

To share just a couple of examples, I have heard from an Idahoan concerned that the EPA is forcing costly sewer upgrades on a small community when the upgrades may not even enable the community to meet new sewer guidelines.  A concerned farmer wrote about the EPA using the Clean Water Act to prevent spraying weeds in areas where there is no water.  Concern was also raised about the EPA's requirement of costly and duplicative recreational dredge mining permits, an activity currently regulated by the State of Idaho's Department of Water Resources. 

Unnecessary regulatory burdens hurt Idaho's economy and ability to compete in the market place.  That is why I support limiting overly-burdensome federal regulation and focusing on innovation instead of heavy-handed penalties.  This includes requiring the Administration to account for job loss and economic impacts when proposing new rules and requiring congressional approval of costly federal rules. 

The EPA leads other federal agencies with the most regulatory actions currently under review.  While I support ensuring that science, research and other tools are available to leave our air, water and soil better than we found them for future generations, layering on more regulations, burying American businesses in more paperwork and imposing overwhelming penalties is not the best means to achieve this goal.  Rather, working with property owners and communities to help implement needed changes is far more productive.  I continue to welcome the input of Idahoans regarding the impacts of EPA's regulations that may help shed light on the ground effects of these regulations.  Idahoans can submit their stories to me via email at EPA_stories@Crapo.senate.govor Twitter using #IdahoEPA. 

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