Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) fears the Environmental Protection Agency may look for ‘wiggle room’ in the Supreme Court’s ruling (last week) against the agency’s Waters of the U.S. definition. Grassley doesn’t trust the EPA when it comes to WOTUS, even after the Supreme Court just threw out the longstanding significant nexus test for wetlands in favor of a continuous surface connection.
Grassley; “My suspicion is that EPA, just like regulators in almost any department, is going to take any ‘wiggle room’ that’s in a law or a Supreme Court decision and try to regulate to the fullest extent possible.”
Grassley points out, the Supreme Court has said in recent rulings, it’s up to Congress to clarify the law. It did so again in Sackett vs. EPA—the WOTUS case—after Grassley says EPA for years expanded its regulatory power over wetlands due to the vagueness of the Clean Water Act.
Grassley; “I think Congress ought to do its job! But I would be against EPA having the same authority under the law than they had under the Kennedy concurring opinion of 25 years ago.” The opinion Grassley is referring to is when Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a plurality opinion that first opened the door to the now-defunct “significant nexus” test.
Grassley’s Define WOTUS Act would restrict federal authority to only wetlands that “abut” navigable waters and to streams that flow at least 185 days a year.