Press Releases

What They Are Saying: Industries Join 200+ House Republicans in Calling on Biden Administration to Halt WOTUS Expansion

Farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and landowners deserve certainty

Washington, D.C., March 15, 2022 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Last week, 201 House Republicans sent a letter urging the Biden Administration to halt their rulemaking expanding the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a related case, Sackett v. EPA.  Today, industry leaders, stakeholders, and representatives of rural America issued the following statements in support of the letter, which was led by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member David Rouzer (R-NC), Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-WA):

Michele Stanley, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association: “The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) applauds Chairman Newhouse, Ranking Member Graves, Ranking Member Rouzer, and all the members of Congress who signed this letter for their leadership to ensure our industry faces workable and reliable water regulations. We support their call on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to delay the current Clean Water Act rulemaking until the Supreme Court has the opportunity to finish its deliberation on a case that will impact the agencies actions and likely force them to write another rule. Aggregates producers, who are facing their fourth change to these critical regulations in the past decade, crave certainty, as we work to supply the nation with building materials to better our infrastructure. We call on EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to heed the calls of 200 members of Congress to ensure our businesses are able to continue working to help build America.”

Rich Nolan, President & CEO, National Mining Association: “A pendulum of conflicting ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) court decisions and regulatory actions that change with every new administration has created uncertainty for the mining industry for years. The National Mining Association supports calls from the Congressional Western Caucus and Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to the administration to halt its ongoing WOTUS rulemaking. With the U.S. Supreme Court reviewing Sackett v. EPA, rushing ahead to complete the rulemaking is ill-conceived and would further inflame confusion for the regulated community and public, while hindering the EPA and Corps’ goal of finalizing a ‘durable’ WOTUS rule that can withstand legal scrutiny. Further, it would be a waste of the federal government’s resources to pursue the rulemaking without knowing the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Scott Yager, Chief Environmental Counsel, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association: “For too long, cattle producers have endured shifting ‘Waters of the U.S.’ (WOTUS) definitions. In a business already filled with daily uncertainty, cattle producers need clear rules to be successful. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association proudly joins the Congressional Western Caucus in urging the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to pause their WOTUS rulemaking until the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue.”

Marty Durbin, Senior Vice President for Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce agrees that EPA and the Department of the Army should halt their proposed rulemaking efforts concerning the definition of the waters of the United States until after the Supreme Court decides the Sackett case and further clarifies the scope of the agencies’ regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Certainty and consistency are needed in our federal permitting processes to accelerate project delivery to meet our ambitious national climate and infrastructure agenda. We applaud the Western Caucus and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Republicans for their leadership in proposing this commonsense solution.”

Mark Compton, Executive Director, American Exploration and Mining Association: “In the Sackett case, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to address the proper test for determining what waterbodies and wetlands are waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) and therefore subject to federal jurisdiction. Given the many changes to the definition of WOTUS and the resulting uncertainty the regulated community has had to endure, it is premature for the agencies to move forward on another rulemaking without that guidance from the Court. AEMA appreciates the efforts of the Congressional Western Caucus and more than 200 members of Congress to bring some order to this process.”

Kevin Kuhlman, Vice President of Federal Government Relations, NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business): “WOTUS represents one of the most significant compliance challenges small business owners face. With major WOTUS litigation pending before the Supreme Court, the EPA and the Corp should refrain from engaging in major rulemaking. NFIB appreciates the leadership of the Members of Congress signing this letter, standing up for small business owners and asking this rulemaking cease.”

Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation: “We ask EPA to heed the overwhelming call to pause its plan to once again redefine the meaning of ‘Waters of the United States.’ Farmers and ranchers share the goal of protecting the resources they’ve been entrusted with, but they’ve been trapped in a regulatory back and forth for too long. We want clean water and clear rules, and the case scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court could provide clarity on the scope of EPA’s rulemaking authority.”

Megan Provost, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment): “The Agencies must press pause until the Court issues their decision to ensure the new rule gives lasting clarity and direction for all water stakeholders, instead of constantly changing regulatory policies. The Agencies’ continued efforts to finalize their definition of WOTUS, while the Supreme Court is evaluating the appropriate scope, creates uncertainty on the availability of products for pesticide applicators to protect and enhance public health, infrastructure, green spaces, and our environment.”

Rachel Jones, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers: “Regulatory uncertainty might be the biggest unacknowledged supply-chain bottleneck and silent killer of projects. Death by delay is real. Every day I hear from manufacturers that just want to know what the rules are so that they can follow them. But the political pendulum is creating unimaginable headaches for manufacturers looking to onshore or expand domestic production. We’ve been asking for clear rules to protect clean water for decades now; the U.S. can’t afford to keep putting projects on ice or investment will be forced to go elsewhere.”

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