Jun 27 2017
New EPA Directive Rolls Back Onerous ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Regulatory Scheme
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today made the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to withdraw the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.
“Today’s announcement is a triumph for American farmers, ranchers, and small business owners,” Wicker said. “President Trump and his team are following through on their promises to return power to the states, block bureaucratic overreach, and shrink the size of the federal government.”
The WOTUS rule expanded the definition of U.S. waterways under the “Clean Water Act,” giving EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal agencies unprecedented authority to regulate streams, wetlands, ponds, ditches, and other non-navigable waterways.
The rule imposed burdensome regulations and reporting requirements on farmers, ranchers, and business owners, jeopardizing local economic growth without proven benefits. The rule greatly expanded the role of the federal government, and its legality was repeatedly questioned, leading to a court-ordered suspension of the rule in 2015.
Wicker has been a critic of the controversial rule since it was proposed, sponsoring multiple resolutions to halt the rollout of the rule in 2014 and 2015 and to defund the rule in 2016. Wicker also urged the new Republican administration to roll back WOTUS in 2016, and celebrated President Trump’s executive action in February that led to today’s announcement.