FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 8, 2019
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) reintroduced his Defense of Environment and Property Act to restore common sense to federal water policy by redefining “navigable waters,” excluding ephemeral or intermittent streams from federal jurisdiction, and restraining the power the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers hold over American landowners.
“While some would have us believe we can only protect the environment by giving the federal government more control over Americans’ lives, my bill shows we can act while still respecting Americans’ private property rights and the Constitution’s limits on federal power,” said Dr. Paul.
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Lee (R-UT) joined Dr. Paul on the legislation, which would provide a statutory fix to protect Americans from President Obama’s overreaching 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The 2015 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.
In addition to introducing the Defense of Environment and Property Act in multiple sessions of Congress, Dr. Paul has previously cosponsored legislation to nullify the WOTUS rule. During Senate consideration of the Farm Bill in 2018, Dr. Paul and Senator Lee offered an amendment that would have repealed the WOTUS rule.
You can find the entire bill and a summary of Dr. Paul’s Defense of Environment and Property Act below:
Dr. Rand Paul’s Defense of Environment and Property Act:
- Defines “navigable waters” as “navigable-in-fact, or permanent, standing, or continuously flowing bodies of water that form geographical features commonly known as streams, oceans, rivers, and lakes that are connected to waters that are navigable-in-fact”;
- Clarifies the jurisdiction of the EPA and Corps of Engineers;
- States that “ground water” is State water and not to be considered in asserting Federal jurisdiction;
- Prohibits the use of a “significant nexus test”; and
- Prohibits the EPA and Corps of Engineers from creating new rules defining “navigable waters” or expanding or interpreting the definition of “navigable waters” unless expressly authorized by Congress.