May 27, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the final “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.
“Instead of reaching a reasonable solution, today the EPA has ignored millions of Americans and taken more control over private land in our country. There is bipartisan agreement that Washington bureaucrats have gone beyond their authority and have no business regulating irrigation ditches, isolated ponds and other ‘non-navigable’ waters as waters of the United States. Under this outrageously broad rule, Washington will have control over how family farmers, ranchers and small businesses not only use their water, but also their privately owned land.
“After last week’s news reports, it’s clear that the EPA would rather skew public comments in its favor than acknowledge the real concerns Americans and Congress have with this overreaching rule.
“Instead of moving forward with a rule that fails to represent the interests of many Americans, we should act immediately to pass the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act. We can protect America’s waterways and our farmers, ranchers and landowners. Today’s action ensures further momentum for our bill that says yes to clean water – and no to extreme bureaucracy.”
A May 18th New York Times article reported that the Environmental Protection Agency conducted a “campaign that tests the limits of federal lobbying law” when the agency “orchestrated a drive to counter political opposition from Republicans and enlist public support in concert with liberal environmental groups and a grass-roots organization aligned with President Obama.”
On April 30, 2015, Senator Barrasso along with Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), led a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140).
Barrasso’s bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that protects traditional navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners. For more information on the bill, click here.