Hoeven Statement on Today's Injunction Blocking the EPA's Waters of the United States Rule

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson’s injunction blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing its new Waters of the United States rule:

“Today, the U.S. District Court for North Dakota agreed with 13 states, who believe the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule to be an unconstitutional regulatory overreach exceeding the authority Congress gave it to create rules for the Clean Water Act. If implemented, it will have real impacts not only on farmers and ranchers, but also on small businesses across North Dakota and the nation. That’s why we worked to pass a provision in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill in June that prohibits the EPA from implementing the regulation. We will continue to work, both in Congress and the courts, to either defund or deauthorize this burdensome rule.”

Hoeven has been working to eliminate the Waters of the U.S. regulation through the appropriations process and also in separate legislation, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. The senator joined a bipartisan group of farm-state colleagues to reintroduce the legislation that would rescind the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule and require the EPA to start the process over with more input from stakeholders. The Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which is being led by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) this year, is similar to legislation Hoeven cosponsored in 2014.

Last year, Hoeven worked to defund the Interpretive Rule, which enabled farmers and ranchers to operate this year, as they have in the past, under the Clean Water Act’s exemption from having to get a permit before practicing normal agricultural activities like plowing, seeding and minor drainage.