Hoeven Joins Thune, GOP Senators in Calling for Stop to Biden-Obama WOTUS Overreach

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven joined Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and the entire Senate Republican Conference in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to suspend the pending rulemaking to redefine the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA), specifically “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), until the U.S. Supreme Court completes its consideration of Sackett v. EPA, a case that is expected to have major implications on CWA scope and enforcement. The senators argue that it would be irresponsible for the EPA and USACE to proceed with a rulemaking that could be invalidated or significantly altered as early as this summer. 

“We are foremost troubled to see that the proposed rule exceeds the regulatory authority granted to EPA and USACE by the Clean Water Act,” the senators wrote. “The proposed rule seeks to federalize waters in a land grab that arguably surpasses its 2015 predecessor, improperly encompassing water features traditionally within the sole purview of states, while reverting from the comparative straightforward application of the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule … and interjecting new uncertainties for nearly every private sector stakeholder.” 

The letter also criticizes how the regulatory overreach proposed by the rule would “snarl American economic sectors in red tape” and impose significant uncertainty to a range of stakeholders, especially farmers and ranchers. Click here for the full letter, which was signed by all Republican senators.