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Chairman Roberts: EPA Listens to Farmers and Ranchers, Begins WOTUS Withdrawal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and an outspoken opponent of Obama-era burdensome regulations harming and farmers and ranchers, today announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corps) have begun the process to withdraw the highly controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule. The EPA and the Corps now begin a replacement rulemaking process to gather input and re-evaluate the definition of WOTUS.


“I’m pleased Administrator Pruitt and the EPA have listened to our concerns and has taken an important first step to rescind the infamous WOTUS rule. For too long, this rule has burdened not only farmers and ranchers, but landowners of all sizes, across the country.”


“With a rewrite of the WOTUS rule, I look forward to seeing a rule that recognizes and respects the environmental strides taken by the American farmer and rancher. I’m grateful to have an EPA that listens to and addresses the concerns of rural America, a vital segment of our economy and true stewards of our natural resources.”


The WOTUS rule was developed by the Obama Administration’s EPA and the Corps. It greatly expanded the EPA’s federal jurisdiction and scope of waterbodies subject to Clean Water Act requirements.


In February, President Trump signed an executive order providing relief from the WOTUS rule.


Chairman Roberts held a hearing on the WOTUS rule in the Senate Agriculture Committee and cosponsored legislation to repeal the rule in the 114th Congress.