On April 16, 2008, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held hearings on Congressman Obertsar's controversial and misnamed "Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007." A video of the hearing can be found here. Some of the most interesting testimony came from agency representatives like this statement by J.P Woodley of the Corps:
"We have several serious concerns with H.R. 2421 as drafted. . First, it appears that the consequence of the legislation will be to extend the jurisdiction beyond those waters determined to be not jurisdictional under the SWANCC and Rapanos decisions. This appears to go beyond the original intent of Congress in establishing the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act, which reflected a careful balance between the legitimate and important Federal interest in protecting water quality and the equally important and long-standing interest of States in managing and allocating land and water resources within their boundaries. HR 2421 also goes beyond any interpretations of jurisdiction advanced by the agencies in the 30 years preceding the SWANCC and Rapanos decisions. For example, it is not clear whether the bill would require any link to interstate commerce for a water to be jurisdictional.
A second concern is that the bill could open up a whole new line of litigation regarding the limits of Congress’s legislative power under the constitution, creating additional uncertainty and unpredictability for the environment, the regulated community, and State and Federal agencies. "
Even the Corps refuses to back Oberstar's claims that HR2421 merely "restores" the original intent of Congress in the 1972 Act to regulate ALL waters in the United States and that the agency has applied a consistent jurisdictional standard for more than 30 years.