Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/07/2020          

Bridging Responsible Agricultural Conservation Efforts Act

Date Version PDF TXT
02/07/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5799 

To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with respect to normal 
farming activities and to require the Corps of Engineers and the Environ-
mental Protection Agency to apply certain decisions of the Secretary 
of Agriculture when enforcing such Act, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 7, 2020 
Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania (for himself and Mr. PETERSON) introduced 

the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure 

A BILL 
To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with 

respect to normal farming activities and to require the 
Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection 
Agency to apply certain decisions of the Secretary of 
Agriculture when enforcing such Act, and for other pur-
poses. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Bridging Responsible 4

Agricultural Conservation Efforts Act’’. 5

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2 

•HR 5799 IH

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. 1

In this Act: 2

(1) ADMINISTRATOR.—The term ‘‘Adminis-3

trator’’ means the Administrator of the Environ-4

mental Protection Agency. 5

(2) CHIEF OF ENGINEERS.—The term ‘‘Chief of 6

Engineers’’ means the Secretary of the Army, acting 7

through the Chief of Engineers. 8

(3) SECRETARY.—The term ‘‘Secretary’’ means 9

the Secretary of Agriculture. 10

SEC. 3. NORMAL FARMING ACTIVITIES. 11

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 404(f)(1)(A) of the Fed-12

eral Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 13

1344(f)(1)(A)) is amended by striking ‘‘or upland soil and 14

water conservation practices’’ and inserting ‘‘upland soil 15

and water conservation practices (including changing con-16

servation systems), crop changes for soil management (in-17

cluding the use of haying and pasturing for the purpose 18

of harvest or grazing), or activities and practices employed 19

for purposes of expanding production in an operation’’. 20

(b) DEADLINE.—Not later than 12 months after the 21

date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator and the 22

Chief of Engineers, jointly with the Secretary, shall issue 23

a rule to revise the regulations implementing section 404 24

of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reflect the 25

amendment made by subsection (a). The rule shall also 26

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3 

•HR 5799 IH

include activities and practices employed for purposes of 1

expanding production in an operation, changing crops pro-2

duced in an operation, and changing conservation systems 3

in an operation. 4

SEC. 4. APPLICATION OF FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 1985 TO 5

FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT 6

ENFORCEMENT. 7

(a) SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE DECISIONS.— 8

(1) PRIOR CONVERTED CROPLAND.— 9

(A) EFFECT OF DETERMINATION.—For 10

purposes of section 404 of the Federal Water 11

Pollution Control Act, the Chief of Engineers 12

and the Administrator shall consider land to be 13

prior converted cropland if the land has, at any 14

time, been determined by the Secretary to be 15

prior-converted cropland or commenced-conver-16

sion wetland under the Food Security Act of 17

1985. 18

(B) NO ABANDONMENT.—In carrying out 19

subparagraph (A), the Chief of Engineers and 20

the Administrator may not consider any deter-21

mination by the Secretary under the Food Se-22

curity Act of 1985 that land previously deter-23

mined to be prior-converted cropland or com-24

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•HR 5799 IH

menced-conversion wetland has reverted to wet-1

land due to abandonment. 2

(2) WETLANDS.—For any land with respect to 3

which the Secretary has made a wetland delineation, 4

determination, or certification under section 1222 of 5

the Food Security Act of 1985, the Chief of Engi-6

neers and the Administrator shall apply such delin-7

eation, determination, or certification when carrying 8

out section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Con-9

trol Act. 10

(b) WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES.—For pur-11

poses of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, prior 12

converted croplands under subsection (a)(1), and any par-13

cel of land that is contiguous to, and owned by the same 14

owner as, such prior converted croplands, are not waters 15

of the United States. 16

(c) RELIANCE.—The first sentence of section 17

1222(a)(6) of the Food Security Act of 1985 shall apply 18

to enforcement actions under section 404 of the Federal 19

Water Pollution Control Act. 20

(d) JUDICIAL REVIEW.—Notwithstanding section 21

706 of title 5, United States Code, a court reviewing any 22

agency action of the Secretary, the Chief of Engineers, 23

or the Administrator that is affected by this section shall 24

decide de novo all relevant questions of law, including the 25

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5 

•HR 5799 IH

interpretation of constitutional and statutory provisions, 1

and rules made. If the reviewing court determines that a 2

statutory or regulatory provision relevant to its decision 3

contains a gap or ambiguity, the court shall not interpret 4

that gap or ambiguity as an implicit delegation of legisla-5

tive rule making authority and shall not rely on such gap 6

or ambiguity as a justification either for interpreting agen-7

cy authority expansively or for deferring to any interpreta-8

tion of the Secretary, the Chief of Engineers, or the Ad-9

ministrator on the question of law. Notwithstanding any 10

other provision of law, this subsection shall apply in any 11

action for judicial review of such an agency action author-12

ized under any provision of law. No law may exempt any 13

civil action for review of such an agency action from the 14

application of this subsection except by specific reference 15

to this subsection. 16

Æ 

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Picture Name From Date Type
Glenn Thompson R-PA 02/07/2020 Sponsor
Collin Peterson D-MN 02/07/2020 Cosponsor
Date Branch Action
02/13/2020 President Referred to the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.Action By: Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
02/12/2020 President Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR H1057)Action By: House of Representatives
02/07/2020 President Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.Action By: House of Representatives
02/07/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki







Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Age
Peterson) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureA BILLTo amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with respect to normal farming activities and to require the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to apply certain decisions of the Secretary of Agriculture when enforcing such Act, and for other purposes

Army
(2)Chief of EngineersThe term Chief of Engineers means the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers

Congress


Environment
Peterson) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureA BILLTo amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with respect to normal farming activities and to require the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to apply certain decisions of the Secretary of Agriculture when enforcing such Act, and for other purposes


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type