Idaho Congressman Simpson praised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers proposed rule to repeal the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) definition that was submitted by the previous Administration. Today’s proposed rule withdraws WOTUS and allows for a rewrite of the definition, which will provide regulatory certainty for farmers, ranchers, local municipalities, and others who have voiced concerns with WOTUS.
“I applaud the Administration for taking this important step to provide Idahoans with regulatory relief,” said Simpson. “The WOTUS rule from the previous Administration blatantly overreached into our lives in the West, which is why I fought this massive expansion of federal jurisdiction since day one. I am pleased this Administration recognizes the WOTUS rule is unworkable and way beyond the scope of the federal government.”
The controversial rule would have expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” and as a result, federal regulation and permitting under the Clean Water Act. The rule, as written, could apply to virtually all water, including ground water. States currently regulate non-navigable water.
Congressman Simpson has been a leader on this issue, currently chairing the appropriations subcommittee overseeing the budget for the US Army Corps of Engineers and is a member of the subcommittee overseeing the budget for the EPA. In those roles, he has authored language passed by the House that would prevent the EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers from expanding their regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. In fact, Congressman Simpson today released his Energy and Water Appropriations legislation, which includes language authorizing the Administrator of the EPA and the Corps to withdraw the WOTUS rule.
“With the introduction of my Energy and Water bill today - alongside the proposed withdrawal of the rule itself – two branches of government are sending a clear message to the American people that the federal government must defer to the authority of States to regulate state waters.”