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Chairman Roberts Condemns ‘WOTUS’ Rulemaking Process, Calls on EPA to Start Fresh

MANHATTAN, Kan. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today released the following statement after the White House Office of Management and Budget released the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s finalized ‘Waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) rule.

The release of the nearly 300-page, finalized WOTUS rule raises more questions than it answers about the expansion of federal jurisdiction under EPA’s Clean Water Act. In March, the Committee held a hearing on the impacts of the WOTUS rule and heard from farmers, ranchers and rural constituencies from Kansas and around the country. The message was clear: this is the wrong approach and the wrong rule for agriculture and rural America. 

What’s more, thanks to a New York Times story, serious concerns about EPA’s tactics to garner support for the rule are being raised. EPA not only stacked the deck against agriculture, it ignored them. 

To view a short video on Chairman Roberts’ reaction, click here.

“Today, the Obama Administration released the damaging ‘Waters of the U.S.’ finalized rule – a regulation is opposed by virtually every farm organization, commodity group and other business interests in rural America.

I am sorry to say, as expected, the rule is bad news for rural America.

As Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, I’m proud to champion agriculture. We will lead the charge in pushing back against EPA’s egregious federal overreach.

That’s why I have helped introduced the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. This requires EPA to go back to the drawing board and restart the rulemaking process to include stakeholders – especially agriculture.

All of us want to protect clean water, especially agriculture. However, farmers and ranchers cannot be ignored.

The EPA’s conduct during the rulemaking process confirms my belief that the Administration is not listening. Any American who feels aggrieved by their government now has no voice. This is a serious problem.”