Cramer issues WOTUS statement

Created: 5/27/15 (Wed) | Topic: Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The EPA’s decision comes just two weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 which gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers 30 days to withdraw the current proposed rule that defines “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA), and charges them with developing a new proposed rule. In addition, On May 1, 2015, the House passed H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill which included language to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from spending any funds to implement the “Waters of the United States” rule.  
“The EPA’s decision to release its final WOTUS rule is disturbing. A majority of the US House as well as thousands of landowners, businesses and agriculture producers from across the country oppose this clearly unconstitutional power grab. The administration's actions trample on the rights of private property owners as well as local and state governments.  I will work with my colleagues to overturn this rule,” Cramer added.

Congressman Cramer has consistently opposed the Waters of the U.S. rule and has called on the administration and the EPA to change course on numerous occasions, citing its devastating economic impacts, substantial regulatory costs, bureaucratic barriers to economic growth, and severely negative impacts on farms, small businesses, commercial development, road construction and energy production, as well as the fact waters are to be governed by states and not the federal government.

“The North Dakota Farm Bureau is very disappointed in the announcement today by the EPA regarding the Waters of the U.S. rule. The agency has taken it upon themselves to ignore not only public sentiment, but standing court rulings in order to implement this ill-conceived debacle. Regardless of what the EPA says, this interpretation of the Clean Water Act is a clear assault on state sovereignty, municipal jurisdiction, and private property rights,” said Peter Hanebutt, Director of Public Policy for the North Dakota Farm Bureau.  

Many landowners and farm groups worry the rule would even automatically determine types of “other waters” to be regulated by the federal government. This includes prairie potholes, commonly found within North Dakota, placing the burden to refute such an expansion upon producers and landowners.

In 2014, the Congressman released a highly detailed Map of North Dakota developed in secret by the Environmental Protection Agency, likely for the purpose of expanding its regulation of water features. Investigations by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, of which Cramer was a member at the time, revealed the EPA has assembled detailed maps of all waters and wetlands in every state with no intention of releasing them to the public.

Download a copy of the Final EPA Rule by clicking here.

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