Senators Joni Ernst of Iowa and Mike Braun of Indiana introduced the Define WOTUS Act last week. The legislation is said to codify a definition of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and reassert Congressional authority to define the term.
Ernst says the Obama-era rule threatened Iowa’s farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses by giving the federal government authority to regulate water in 97 percent of Iowa. “President Trump has taken tremendous steps to roll back this overreaching regulation and provide more certainty with a new, clearer definition of WOTUS,” Ernst says.
However, the Iowa Senator says it’s the job of Congress to make a new, reasonable definition permanent. The definition of WOTUS in the legislation also makes substantial improvements over various administrative attempts to define the term by clearly outlining what is and is not a federally regulated waterway. “It gives landowners clear guidelines by which they can go out on their land and clearly determine what is and isn’t regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.”