Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, wants to insert a measure in the forthcoming budget resolution that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing water pollution rules that business groups in Florida oppose.
The move mirrors an effort by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta. The rules are the product of a contentious legal battle in which the EPA agreed to set limits on how much nutrient pollution is allowed into state waterways. Critics say the regulations will be too costly. Even Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has worked to get the EPA to hold off.
When Rooney attached his amendment to the House budget deal (pared back to a two-week stopgap for now), Rubio indicated he would try the same. His staff confirmed Wednesday that he would.
Congressional action cannot undo the new pollution rules, said David Guest of Earthjustice, the law firm that successfully pursued the lawsuit against the EPA. Because the rules are in place "that means people have to comply with it," he said. To argue otherwise "is like saying the Clean Water Act doesn't apply south of the Georgia line."