Hoeven Urges EPA Administrator to Advance State-Led Approach to Environmental Stewardship

Senator Hosts Pruitt for WOTUS Roundtable, Worked to Defund Rule in 2016 & 2017

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today helped lead a roundtable with Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at North Dakota State University (NDSU) to review the agency’s progress in revising the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently issued a proposal to restore the regulations that were in place prior to WOTUS, which was issued in 2015. This is the first of two steps established by the executive order signed by the president in February to rescind or revise the Obama-era regulation. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven wrote and worked to pass legislation that defunded the rule in 2016 and 2017, helping to prevent its implementation.

Hoeven invited Pruitt to visit the state earlier this year so he could see firsthand the impact that EPA rules have for industry in North Dakota. The senator urged Pruitt to continue working to advance a state-led approach to improving environmental stewardship, allowing states to account for regional differences and reducing costs, which benefits businesses and consumers. This is especially important for small businesses, energy producers, farmers and ranchers.

“The Waters of the U.S. rule is a prime example of a federal one-size-fits-all rule with far-reaching consequences,” Hoeven said. “This regulation would have added significant costs across our state’s economy, from building infrastructure to our core industries of agriculture and energy. We need to empower states to provide good environmental stewardship. Those who live and work on the land have the greatest stake in protecting it. Further, through our research and land-grant institutions, we have the expertise needed to develop solutions to ensure healthy soil, water and air.”