Created: 6/16/15 (Tue) | Topic: Issues
House Committee eliminates WOTUS funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted out of committee the 2016 U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Funding bill by a vote of 30 – 21.
A key provision of this legislation is the elimination of funding for the EPA’s implementation of the Waters of the United States Rule commonly known as WOTUS. In addition, the legislation overturns the EPA’s proposed rules and regulations on greenhouse gases for power plants and the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) regulations on hydraulic fracking.
On May 1, 2015, the House passed H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill which included language to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from spending any funds to implement the “Waters of the United States” rule.
On May 12, 2015, the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 which gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers 30 days to withdraw the current proposed rule that defines “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA), and charges them with developing a new proposed rule.
“WOTUS is an onerous, job-killing rule which must be stopped. This administration refused to listen to the landowners, ag producers, small businesses, as well as numerous local and state governments who opposed this unconstitutional power grab. The House has no other option than to deny the EPA funding to implement WOTUS and prevent its harmful effects from impacting our country. I will work with my colleagues to bring this bill to the floor for a vote, ” said Cramer.
Congressman Cramer has consistently opposed the Waters of the U.S. rule and has called on the administration and the EPA to change course on numerous occasions, citing its devastating economic impacts, substantial regulatory costs, bureaucratic barriers to economic growth, and severely negative impacts on farms, small businesses, commercial development, road construction and energy production, as well as the fact waters are to be governed by states and not the federal government.
Many landowners and farm groups worry the rule would even automatically determine types of “other waters” to be regulated by the federal government. This includes prairie potholes, commonly found within North Dakota, placing the burden to refute such an expansion upon producers and landowners.
In 2014, the Congressman released a highly detailed Map of North Dakota developed in secret by the Environmental Protection Agency, likely for the purpose of expanding its regulation of water features. Investigations by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, of which Cramer was a member at the time, revealed the EPA has assembled detailed maps of all waters and wetlands in every state with no intention of releasing them to the public. Download a copy of the final EPA rule by clicking here.