Hard At Work ‘Repealing Obama EPA Water Rule’

‘Obama-Era Regulation … Was Just A Blatant Power Grab By The Federal Government To Regulate Every Pothole, Ditch, And Puddle In The Nation’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “President Trump should be commended for doing what he can to begin turning back this attack on middle class families in Kentucky and across the country. Although this Obama-era regulation claimed to protect this nation’s waterways, it was just a blatant power grab by the federal government to regulate every pothole, ditch, and puddle in the nation. Based more on ideology than fact, the rule would directly harm the Middle Class.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 2/28/17)

President Trump’s Executive Order ‘The First Step Toward Repealing The 2015 Water Rule’

“President Trump on Tuesday instructed the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to review and reconsider a 2015 rule known as the Waters of the United States rule…” (“Trump Directs Rollback Of Obama-Era Water Rule He Calls ‘Destructive And Horrible,’” The Washington Post, 2/28/17)

“President Trump [signed] an executive order Tuesday scrapping a controversial Environmental Protection Agency rule that expanded the agency's jurisdiction over the nation's waterways during the second term of former President Obama. The regulation, known as the Waters of the U.S. rule, broadened the definition of the type of water body that would fall under EPA's formidable clean water enforcement powers, making everything from streams to ditches and watering holes subject to the EPA's and Army Corps of Engineers' oversight.” (“Trump Executive Order Scraps EPA Water Rule,” Washington Examiner, 2/28/2017)

“The executive order is the first step toward fulfilling one of Trump’s key campaign promises, repealing a regulation ... [T]he order will instruct the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to formally reconsider the rule, which could lead to its repeal or a significant rewrite.” (“Trump Moves Toward Repealing Obama EPA Water Rule,” The Hill, 2/28/2017)

‘One Of The [Obama] Administration’s Most High-Profile And Controversial Regulations’

“The water regulation… has become one of the administration’s most high-profile and controversial regulations in recent years. Opponents of the rule, which include a range of agriculture and energy companies and their congressional representatives from rural and energy-intensive states, say the regulation amounts to a federal intrusion into states’ rights.” (“House Votes to Overturn Expanded Waterway Regulations,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/13/2016)

“Barack Obama's water war… a massive power grab by Washington.” (“Barack Obama's Water War,” Politico, 5/27/2015)

SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP (D-ND): “‘There is not one single federal regulation in the entire country that has caused more concern in the state of North Dakota than this Waters of the United States proposed regulation,’ Heitkamp said. ‘There is incredible uncertainty out there.’” (“Senators Target Obama’s Water Rule,” The Hill, 4/30/2015)

  • SEN. HEITKAMP: “Farmers across North Dakota and the nation deserve better than the sweeping federal rules regulating possibly every pothole on their land – they deserve certainty, and they deserve to be heard before any rule goes into effect.” (Sen. Heitkamp, Press Release, 8/27/2015)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “Today, the EPA is once again dangerously overreaching its boundaries by expanding the definition of water sources it can regulate,” Senator Manchin said. “It is completely unreasonable that our country’s ditches, puddles and other un-navigable waters be subjected to the same regulations as our greatest lakes and rivers, and implementing this rule will certainly have a significant impact on West Virginia’s economy, hindering businesses, manufacturing and energy production. The bottom line is that no federal agency should go around Congress to control what has not been legislated, especially when its actions will harm economic growth. I urge my colleagues to take immediate action on the bipartisan Water Quality Protection Act to rein in this harmful rule.” (Sen. Manchin, Press Release, 5/27/2015)

SEN. JOE DONNELLY (D-IN): “That is why it is incredibly important that the EPA rewrite the Waters of the United States rule with input from the people who live and work on the land and alongside these waters every day.” (Sen. Donnelly, Press Release, 4/30/2015)

Obama-Era Rule ‘A Nightmare For Farmers’ And ‘For Small Businesses’

American Farm Bureau Federation’s Don Parrish: “It’s going to cause a nightmare for farmers. ... Our members own the majority of the landscape that’s going to be impacted by this. ... It’s going to make their land, the most valuable thing they possess, less valuable. It could reduce the value of some farmland by as much as 40 percent.” (“Obama Announces New Rule Limiting Water Pollution,” The New York Times, 5/27/2015)

NFIB Vice President of Public Policy Amanda Austin: “The Waters of the United States rule would make developing property a nightmare for small businesses. Small businesses simply don’t have the resources to pay the fees and hire the consultants to help them navigate the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency didn’t even bother to consider how this rule would affect small firms with limited ability to cut through the red tape.” (“Small Business Calls on House to Stop Waters Rule,” NFIB Website, 1/12/2016)

  • “As a result of this new regulation, the Agencies are bringing seasonal streams, ponds, ditches, and depressions in fields into federal jurisdiction. The financial impact of this rule will affect small businesses disproportionately; Clean Water Act permits can cost tens of thousands of dollars and lead to lengthy project delays.” (NFIB, Letter to House Members, 1/11/2016)


Bipartisan Votes In Both Houses To Overturn The Regulation Last Congress

“President Obama on Tuesday rejected an attempt by congressional Republicans to overturn his landmark regulation asserting federal power over small bodies of water.” (“Obama Vetoes GOP Attempt To Block Water Rule,” The Hill, 1/19/2016)

“The House voted Wednesday to overturn a contentious rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that asserts federal authority over small waterways. The House passed the resolution 253-166 Wednesday, with 12 Democrats supporting it. (“House Votes To Overturn Obama Water Rule,” The Hill, 1/13/2016)

“The Senate approved a bill Wednesday to block the Obama administration’s new regulation setting federal authority over small waterways. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water rule passed on a 53-44 vote. Three Democrats joined every Republican except [one] in advancing the bill.” (“Senate Votes To Kill EPA’s Water Rule,” The Hill, 11/4/2015)

Federal Courts Temporarily Blocked The Controversial Regulation In 2015

“Issued in 2015, the WOTUS rule unleashed a torrent of Federal litigation. Thirty-one states, many local governments, and private industry asserted that the rule unconstitutionally expanded the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) reach and misapplied Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ‘significant nexus’ opinion in the 2006 Rapanos case.” (“U.S. Supreme Court’s 'Waters Of The U.S.' Gift To The Trump Administration,” The Hill, 1/20/17)


Related Issues: WOTUS, Middle Class, Regulations