Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan told lawmakers Wednesday the agency would not go back to the Obama-era definitions of Waters of the U.S.
Regan made the comments as part of the 2022 Budget Request for EPA during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
“We don’t have any intention of going back to the original Obama Waters of the U.S. verbatim,” he said to lawmakers in response to questions from two Republican members of the subcommittee.
Regan, who noted his meetings with top agriculture industry leaders, says, “We all believe that the courts weighed in on the Obama rule, and that the courts weighed in on Trump’s Navigable Water Rule.”
Regan pledged to begin a stakeholder engagement process, including agriculture and environmental groups, to find a way to move forward. Specifically, in a way, Regan says, “where we don’t overburden the small farmer, but we also balance the protection of our wetlands,” adding, “I think we can do it.”