Hoeven: SCOTUS Rules Against EPA WOTUS Interpretation

Senator Working to Protect Private Property Rights, Urged Court to Preserve State Authority over Regulation of Local Waters and Lands

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Sackett v. EPA, issuing a unanimous decision that the agency overstepped its authority to regulate “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. Last year, Hoeven joined his colleagues in submitting an amicus brief in this case, urging SCOTUS to preserve state authority to regulate local waters and lands. Hoeven also pressed the EPA and the Army Corps to suspend rulemaking on WOTUS until SCOTUS completes its consideration of Sackett v. EPA. The Biden administration’s new WOTUS rule has been under a preliminary injunction for more than half of states in the nation, including in North Dakota, following an order from U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland last month.

“This ruling is an important step towards reining in the Biden administration’s repeated regulatory overreaches,” said Hoeven. “The new WOTUS rule being pushed by the EPA would impose tremendous burdens on industries across our economy, including agriculture, energy and construction. That means even higher costs for consumers and stunted economic growth, limiting the creation of good-paying jobs. As such, we’ve been working to reverse this harmful regulation from the administration, and with this ruling in place, the lower courts should follow suit, preserve states’ authority to regulate local waters within their borders and protect private property rights.”

Hoeven has been working to protect private property rights and push back on the Biden administration’s efforts to advance an expanded WOTUS rule, which imposes unworkable mandates, burdensome new permitting requirements and compliance costs on landowners, energy and agriculture producers and other industries. Accordingly, the senator:

  • Helped introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, which Congress recently passed, to rescind the expanded WOTUS rule. The resolution was subsequently vetoed by President Biden.
  • Helped introduce legislation in the 117th Congress to codify the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which replaced the 2015 Obama WOTUS rule.
    • Hoeven previously worked to advance the NWPR, following his efforts to defund WOTUS in 2015 and 2016 and prevent its implementation.