News

Roll back on WOTUS rule

Created: 5/14/15 (Thu) | Topic: Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer has joined a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015.

This legislation 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.
 
“Today the U.S. House of Representatives made a clear statement against this administration’s brazen overregulation and attempt to have jurisdiction over every puddle on every farm in every state. Landowners as well as state and local officials are looking for clarity on WOTUS and this bill directs the EPA work with landowners as well as state and local jurisdictions to develop regulations which protect the environment while preserving private property rights and respecting states’ rights.  I urge the U.S. Senate to quickly take up this legislation and send it to the President for his signature,” Cramer added.
 
North Dakota farmers and landowners have contacted Congressman Cramer’s office with their concerns about the far reaching impact of the proposed WOTUS rule As currently proposed 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.
 
"If the EPA gets to reinterpret the Clean Water Act, as they're attempting to do with the Waters of the US initiative, every aspect of American Life could be adversely effected.  Wherever rain falls, water puddles or streams trickle, would become the regulatory prerogative of an unelected and unaccountable EPA and their bureaucrats.  This is a blatant attack on private property rights, as well as state and local sovereignty, and the EPA's efforts are clearly politically motivated. We are very pleased with Congressman Kevin Cramer's efforts to halt EPA attempts to implement the WOTUS rule," stated  Peter Hanebutt, Director of Public Policy for the North Dakota Farm Bureau.
 
This isn’t the first action the U.S. House of Representatives taken this year to stop the EPA’s failed implementation of the WOTUS Rule.  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.

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.

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.

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