Hoeven Updates Farmers and Ranchers on Work to Stop Waters of US Regulation

Senator Again Calls on EPA to Withdraw Proposal in EPA Comment

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today spoke at the North Dakota Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting to update the state’s farmers and ranchers on his work to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed Waters of the U.S regulation, which would have significant economic impacts for producers and other land owners. Yesterday, Hoeven again called on the EPA to withdraw the proposed rule in his official comments filed during the agency’s rulemaking period.

The proposed rule would expand the EPA’s authority for regulating waters to everything from small wetlands to ditches, burdening land owners with unnecessary new permitting requirements, compliance costs and the threat of fines.

“Our farmers and ranchers do a tremendous job providing us with the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world,” Hoeven told the state’s Farm Bureau members. “We continue working to stop the EPA and Corps from imposing their proposed Waters of the U.S. rule because the last thing that our producers and all of our small businesses need are unnecessary mandates that make it harder to succeed. We need to create a better business climate in this country that helps, not hinders, businesses like our farms and ranches.”

Hoeven is working to rescind the Waters of the U.S. rule, which expands the EPA’s authority to regulate waters under the Clean Water Act. The senator is leading the effort in the Senate Appropriations Committee to include language in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that will prevent the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the new rule in Fiscal Year 2015, by blocking any funding for implementing the proposed rule.

Hoeven is also cosponsoring and pushing to pass the Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014, legislation that would prevent the EPA and the Corps from finalizing the regulation.

Recently, the Small Business Administration recommended that the EPA and Corps withdraw the proposed rule. In October, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, an independent voice for small businesses, concluded the EPA and Corps had used incorrect data in framing the rule, which they said impose costs directly on small businesses and have a significant economic impact on them.

On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps released a proposed rule that includes broad new definitions of the scope of “waters of the United States” that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. The proposed definition could apply to a countless number of small wetlands, creeks, stock ponds and ditches that are typically regulated at a state level.