FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 11, 2018
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a proposal to overturn a bureaucratic power grab by the Obama administration and redefine the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in a manner mirroring legislation Dr. Paul previously introduced to help protect Kentucky farmers and coal miners:
“The current, overly burdensome ‘Waters of the United States’ rule from the Obama administration places significant hardships on states, landowners, and farmers, granting broad federal control over water, and I have long called and worked for action to protect Kentuckians and all other Americans from its effects. As part of those efforts, I have previously introduced the Defense of Environment and Property Act, which I will reintroduce before the end of this Congress, to provide a permanent statutory fix for this issue. I applaud the Trump administration for its action today to revise the definition of WOTUS and provide needed clarity on the scope of federal water jurisdiction.”
In 2015, the Obama administration’s WOTUS rule significantly expanded the definition of waters in the U.S. to include non-navigable waters, certain dry land, drains, ditches, small ponds, and even depressions in fields that are only wet after heavy rains.
Along with cosponsoring S.J. Res. 22 in 2015, which would have nullified the WOTUS rule, Dr. Paul introduced his Defense of Environment and Property Act that same year to define “navigable waters” as navigable-in-fact and relatively permanent bodies of water. Earlier this year, during Senate consideration of the Farm Bill, Dr. Paul and U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) offered an amendment that would have repealed the WOTUS rule.
Background on EPA/Army Corps of Engineers Proposal:
Proposed Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States”:
- Clearly defines “Waters of the United States” as:
- Traditional navigable waters;
- Tributaries of such waters;
- Certain ditches;
- Certain lakes and ponds;
- Impoundments of otherwise jurisdictional waters; and
- Wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters.
- Eliminates the “significant nexus test”