The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt shared the agencies top priorities in an exclusive interview with Reuters. The agency plans to rewrite the Waters of the United States rule this year. An Iowa Senator shares her position on the rewrite and discusses the importance of improving water quality.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) says the EPA needs to clearly define “water of the U.S.” More importantly, Ernst believes the agency needs to define what is not a “water of the U.S.”
“The WOTUS rule was an incredible overreach from the federal government in attempt to control whatever waterway that might exist on private, federal and state land,” Ernst said. “We want clean water, land and air, but we can’t allow the federal government to control every aspect of water, land and air. Overall goal, clean. But we have to have a clear definition of what is and what is not a water of the U.S.”
Senator Ernst believes conservation efforts play a critical role in improving water quality. Ernst voices support for the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). She proceeds to talk about opportunities LWCF provides in preserving land, improving water quality and generating outdoor recreation.
“If you look across Iowa, we have been working on water quality issues for a long time,” Ernst said. “Land conservation efforts, of course, make sure our vulnerable acres are protected. Those highly erodible acres have been important for our natural resources. Then offering those areas for additional partnerships, whether it’s through hunters, sportsmen, etc. We need to conserve our resources statewide and make sure our wonderful soil stays put, as well as the water quality affects we see.”
Ernst adds LWFC benefits agriculture, and the livelihood and quality of life of Americans.