WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joined Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and all Senate Republicans in formally challenging the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval.
The resolution comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) announced a new rule in December 2022 repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and changing the WOTUS definition to expand federal regulatory authority over waters and wetlands that should be left to the control of states and landowners.
“For too long, South Dakota producers have been subject to a number of complex and burdensome WOTUS rule changes,” said Rounds. “Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s recent reiteration of the WOTUS rule will only lead to further regulatory headaches. No one knows their land better than those who work it and the Senate should come together to support landowners by rescinding this regulatory overreach.”
“With its overreaching navigable waters rule, the Biden administration upended regulatory certainty and placed unnecessary burdens directly on millions of Americans,” said Capito. “This Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval will give every member of Congress the chance to stand with farmers, ranchers, landowners, and builders, and protect future transportation, infrastructure, and energy projects of all kinds in their states. I appreciate the widespread support we’ve received in both the Senate and House, and across the country, as we fight to place an important check on this misguided overreach from the Biden administration.”
Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), leads an identical resolution in the House of Representatives.
Click here for the text of the resolution. Click here for a one-pager.
- In 2015, the Obama administration finalized a rule that expanded the definition of WOTUS, creating confusion and burdensome red tape, especially for South Dakota’s agricultural communities.
- The Trump administration released a proposed rule to replace the 2015 WOTUS rule with a new one that provided much-needed predictability and certainty for farmers by establishing clear and reasonable definitions of what qualifies as a “water of the United States.” The NWPR was finalized in 2020.
- On day one of his administration, President Biden signed an executive order to begin the process of rolling back the Trump administration’s NWPR.
- In December 2022, the EPA issued a new rule repealing the NWPR and changing the definition of WOTUS in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.