Iowa lawmakers urge President-elect to scrap WOTUS


WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWQC) — Iowa lawmakers are urging President-elect Donald Trump to get rid of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in the first few days of his presidency. In a letter dated Monday, November 21, 2016, the Iowa Republican Congressional delegation united to show their disapproval of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule.

We write to you today to express our strong concern about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS), and we respectfully urge you to do everything within your power as chief executive to stop this harmful rule in the first days of your presidency.

This misguided WOTUS rule is an economic assault on small businesses, manufacturing and agriculture, and threatens the very livelihood of our fellow Iowans. These industries are the backbone of this country, especially in rural America. The election results signaled that Americans are ready for the last eight years of EPA’s power grabbing mentality to come to an end.

As you know, the Clean Water Act (CWA) was created to address pollution problems in the nation’s navigable waters and improve water quality through a local-state-federal partnership. While we fully support this goal, the scope of the expanded WOTUS definition far exceeds what was originally intended by Congress when it enacted the CWA. Under the guise of protecting clean water, the current administration’s EPA is not just seeking to expand its jurisdiction over waters not originally covered under the CWA, but also on private land. For example, the WOTUS rule could give EPA extensive power to regulate activities on 97 percent of the land in Iowa. This rule will no doubt leave our nation’s job creators in a wave of legal uncertainty, compliance burdens, and increased costs.

Last year, both the Senate and the House passed a resolution of disapproval (S.J.Res.22), led by Senator Ernst to scrap this harmful rule. It passed each chamber with bipartisan support, but our current president vetoed it anyway. Thankfully a nationwide stay has been placed on the rule by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, but it could be years until this litigation is settled. Meanwhile the business owners, farmers, ranchers, and private landowners in communities across the country are left with uncertainty, and are concerned that the EPA will continue to take steps to implement the rule through a piecemeal approach.

As mentioned above, we strongly encourage you to use all the tools at your disposal to free the American people from this blatant overreach. We also respectfully urge you to direct your EPA to craft a common-sense rule that clarifies the scope of the CWA and does so by taking into consideration the input of all stakeholders.

Joni K. Ernst
United States Senator

Chuck Grassley
United States Senator

David Young
United States Congressman

Rod Blum
United States Congressman

Steve King
United States Congressman

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