Allen: We Must Dismantle WOTUS
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) introduced H.R. 1105, legislation to repeal the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. The rule was issued under the Clean Water Act (CWA) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and was designed to define the scope of waters protected and regulated by the EPA.
“Truthfully, WOTUS is the antithesis of limited government. This rule grants the federal government regulatory power over virtually any place where water flows in the United States—ditches, ponds, man-made constructions—you name it. Not only would it expand the federal government’s authority and undermine the rights of states, local governments and landowners, but it would create more red tape, preventing economic growth and jobs particularly in the agriculture industry. The last thing Americans, especially farmers, need is the government attempting to regulate backyard streams and puddles on their land.
WOTUS was flawed from the beginning, which is why it has been tied up in the courts since 2015. My bill is the first step to ensuring this rule never sees the light of day. In our quest to reduce the scope and size of the federal government, dismantling WOTUS is crucial. I look forward to working with President Trump, the new Administration and my colleagues on this very important issue.”
In April 2014, the EPA and the Corps proposed a rule redefining “waters of the United States” under the CWA. The rule would significantly broaden the definition to extend the federal government’s regulatory authority over nearly all bodies of water, including creeks, streams, and groundwater as well as drainage ditches, irrigation pipes and farmland ponds. The Administration failed to properly consult state and local governments in developing its rule, which undermines the federal-state partnership Congress intended to establish under the CWA.
In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay against the enforcement of WOTUS. It has remained there since. Congressman Allen has supported measures to prevent WOTUS from taking effect and his legislation seeks to fully repeal WOTUS, eliminating any potential for it to become a reality.