U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham: EPA, Army Corps. Overstepped with WOTUS Rule
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump today issued an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw and reconsider the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
“EPA and the Army Corps overstepped their authority with WOTUS and clearly did not consider the impact to ag economies like we have in the Central Valley,” said U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock). “I support President Trump’s order to force its reconsideration and include stakeholder input that was not sought under the Obama Administration.”
In Nov. 2016, Rep. Denham led a letter to then President-elect Donald Trump urging him to rescind the WOTUS rule; 28 members of Congress joined Rep. Denham in urging immediate action. And in January 2016, Congress passed a joint resolution that would have nullified the WOTUS rule, which President Obama vetoed.
The WOTUS rule, which was finalized in May 2015, expanded federal jurisdiction over wetlands and waterways to include farm ponds and drainage ditches, making them subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act regardless of size or continuity of flow. The potential for broad interpretation of the rule left it vulnerable to court challenges from state, county and local governments, as well as the agriculture industry.