Hoeven Helps Introduce Resolution to Uphold Navigable Waters Protection Rule

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today helped introduce a resolution with Senator Joni Ernst and 25 other Senate colleagues, including Senator Kevin Cramer, to support upholding the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule. This rule, which replaced the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, is being targeted by the Biden administration through an executive order signed on the first day of Biden’s presidency.

“We worked to ensure a primary role for states in managing their water resources, providing regulatory certainty while encouraging environmental stewardship,” said Hoeven. “Bringing back failed policies of the past like WOTUS imposes unnecessary restrictions and burdens on farmers, ranchers, businesses and energy producers and we will continue our efforts to provide flexibility through the Navigable Waters Protection rule.” 

The 2015 WOTUS rule included broad new definitions of the scope of “waters of the United States” that fell under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This expansion went beyond what Congress established under the CWA. It violated private property rights and threatened significant economic impacts for property owners who would’ve faced new federal permitting requirements, compliance costs and threats of fines. The senator also previously worked to defund WOTUS in 2015 and 2016 and prevent its implementation. The Navigable Waters Protection rule went into effect on June 22, 2020.