Today, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), both members of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, introduced a resolution that expresses the need to vacate the Obama administration’s “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS rule. The resolution signifies the senators’ intent to continue working to roll back the harmful rule once the new administration takes office.
“We all want clean air and clean water, but the federal overreach we saw with the WOTUS rule was completely unprecedented,” said Senator Fischer. “This rule would hurt all Nebraskans: families, communities, ag producers, and businesses. This resolution signifies our intent to quickly get to work to stop WOTUS in its tracks once the new administration takes office.”
“I’ve heard from farmers, manufacturers, and small business owners across the state of Iowa about the confusion and burdensome red-tape the expanded WOTUS rule creates, and the urgency for it to be scrapped immediately,” said Senator Ernst. “That’s why I led an effort in 2015 to disapprove this rule. It is imperative we relieve hard-working Americans from this power grab, and allow Iowans to care for their land without the heavy hand of the EPA determining their every move. Today’s action reaffirms that Iowans’ voice will be heard in Washington and stresses the need to protect our rural communities from this federal overreach.”
The senators’ resolution expresses a sense of the Senate that the final rule expanding the definition of WOTUS must be withdrawn or vacated. It also recognizes that the Clean Water Act (CWA) is critical to protecting water resources, but the final WOTUS rule goes too far, blatantly violating the original intent of the CWA.
In October 2015, the Sixth Circuit federal court of appeals issued a stay immediately blocking the implementation of WOTUS nationwide. The ruling demonstrates the dubious legality of the rule and further underscores the need for the rule to be withdrawn.