Hoeven Joins Senator Cramer for WOTUS Listening Session with EPA Assistant Administrator Fox, Presses for State-Led Approach That Protects Private Property Rights

Senator Opposes Reinstatement of Obama-era WOTUS, Outlines Importance of Using Local Expertise for Water Programs

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Agriculture Committees, today joined Senator Kevin Cramer and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox for a stakeholder listening session in Bismarck on the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.

Today’s listening session comes after the Biden administration released a proposed rule to reinstate the pre-2015 WOTUS definition and repeal the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which was put in place by the Trump administration. Hoeven pressed Fox to provide regulatory certainty and a commonsense, state-led approach to regulation, rather than reviving the unworkable, one-size-fits-all Obama-era WOTUS rule. The senator also outlined the importance of protecting private property rights. 

“We appreciate Senator Cramer providing EPA Assistant Administrator Fox with this opportunity to hear firsthand from North Dakotans,” said Hoeven. “We worked hard to provide certainty under the NWPR, which protected private property rights and helped alleviate the burdens placed on our farmers, energy producers, and other businesses. The Biden administration’s proposed rule to repeal the NWPR takes us in the wrong direction, creating uncertainty by returning to the unworkable Obama-era WOTUS, or worse. North Dakota is a leader in protecting our water resources while supporting economic growth, and that’s why the EPA should collaborate with states like ours on a commonsense, state-led approach to regulation that respects private property rights.”

The leaders also visited a rural water supply facility and met with the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association, where Hoeven outlined the importance of utilizing local experts for drinking water and wastewater programs, including awarding rural water technical assistance grants to non-profit organizations that provide on-site training and are most familiar with their local communities.