President Trump issued an Executive Order today calling for the EPA to review and revise the Army Corps and EPA rule redefining “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) subject to federal control under the Clean Water Act.
- Reed Hopper, a Senior Attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, issued this statement in response to the president’s announcement, “I can think of a no more qualified candidate for regulatory rollback than this infamous rule. It is very encouraging that the president understands the dangers of the Obama Administration’s open-ended ‘Waters of the United States’ rule, because it was an unprecedented power grab. The Obama WOTUS rule threatened to wash away constitutional limits on federal power over local land use — and drown American landowners in a sea of unjustified federal dictates and red tape. With President Trump’s call for a re-set on this important issue, his administration should devise Clean Water Act regulations that protect the environment without undermining people’s property rights and the rule of law.”
Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, who has been an active opponent of the WOTUS rule, said, “We all need and expect clean water, but the WOTUS rule was unworkable for many stakeholders, especially Hoosier farmers. It is my hope that the Environmental Protection Agency rewrites this rule to provide clarity for stakeholders and ensures clean water. I have been saying for years that, in order to get this rule right, we need to engage all stakeholders, including farmers, businesses, local governments, and environmental groups in a collaborative effort.”
Senate Ag Committee chairman Pat Roberts said in a statement, “The WOTUS rule has been a thorn in the sides of rural America for too long, and I’m thrilled President Trump has taken swift action to get rid of it.”
In issuing the executive order President Trump said, “Ambiguous and complex regulations like WOTUS are making it harder for businesses to grow and Americans to work. Right now, it costs close to $35,000 per employee for a small manufacturer each year just to keep compliant with current regulations. The WOTUS rule exerted power over a staggering range of manmade features, setting up potential costs for manufacturers that would alter how they would transport goods and services.”
The American Soybean Association (ASA) cheers a direction issued on Tuesday, ”We are very happy to see a signal of clarity to come on the Clean Water Rule from President Trump today. Our concern with the rule has always about the nonspecific and overly broad nature of the rule as written, and never about the paramount goal of cleaner water and more environmentally sound farming practices. We believe that farmers can be a productive voice in the discussion over water regulation, and we look for a seat at the table, because as farmers, our primary goals are the healthy soils and clean water that sustain us from growing season to growing season. I’m 35 miles from the Mississippi River, and I’ve farmed my land for 36 years. I count on productive soil and clean water more than any other inputs, and I wouldn’t be able to make it year to year if I fouled such important pieces of my operation. This rule, however, sought to expand EPA’s authority into places where it was either unnecessary or duplicative, without any reasonable justification for doing so. We look forward to collaborating with President Trump, Administrator Pruitt and others in the administration.”