McConnell Office Statement on EPA Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Robert Steurer, Communications Director for Senator Mitch McConnell, released the following statement today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule to regulate “the waters of the United States” (WOTUS):

“Senator McConnell is still reviewing the rule. However, he has heard from Kentuckians in the agriculture community, coal industry, and manufacturing that any attempt to expand federal power over waters would be detrimental to the economy by limiting the ability of landowners to make decisions about their property, inviting litigation, threatening jobs and ultimately impacting state and local governments’ abilities to make decisions regarding economic development.”

NOTE: Senator McConnell cosponsored bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) that would prohibit the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing their proposed rule expanding federal authority over waterways across the country. 

Also, an op-ed by Senator Mitch McConnell appeared in the Somerset Commonwealth-Journal on April 29, 2015.  In the op-ed, Senator McConnell wrote about the WOTUS regulation that would classify nearly all wetlands—including small ponds and ditches—as ‘navigable’ waters, and thus subject to interference by Washington bureaucrats. If the regulation takes effect, it would wreak havoc on the coal, agriculture, commercial development, real estate, construction, and contracting industries statewide. It would be detrimental to traditional farming practices. And it would trample the private property rights of individual Kentuckians.  By expanding the definition of a wetland, the EPA aims to subject vast new areas in Kentucky to its will. The regulation will trigger confusing requirements that property owners obtain even more permits—on top of those permits they are already responsible for—before undertaking new construction. Forcing more areas that were not previously regulated to go through the EPA permitting process just because there are ditches or streams on the property will only discourage new construction by the individual property and business owners. This hurts job creation, as many property owners across various industries will choose to forego new projects due to the uncertainty and hassle caused by the EPA.”


Related Issues: WOTUS, Economy, EPA, Regulations, Jobs