HYDE-SMITH ENCOURAGED BY PROPOSAL TO REPLACE OBAMA WOTUS RULE
New EPA-Army Corps Plan Restricts Federal Oversight of Agricultural Ditches
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today said a new Trump administration proposal to replace controversial Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations would responsibly clarify what waters the federal government can and cannot regulate.
Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, encouraged Mississippians to review the proposal unveiled
by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday, and participate in the public comment period on the plan.
“President Trump and his administration have made an intensive effort to roll back President Obama’s big-government regulations, the worst of which was the Waters of the United States rule. That rule was the poster child for overreaching bureaucrats giving the federal government far-reaching powers over individual landowners,” Hyde-Smith said.
“I think the EPA has proposed a responsible plan to carry out the Clean Water Act in a manner that respects states’ rights and isn’t a terrible burden to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities,” she said. “As this proposal undergoes review, I hope the people of Mississippi will study it to see how it could affect them.”
With the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA proposal would clarify where the Clean Water Act is applicable, including traditional navigable waters, tributaries, certain lakes, and wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters. Groundwater, agricultural and roadside ditches, prior converted cropland, storm water control projects, and waste treatment plants would not fall under federal WOTUS jurisdiction.
The new proposal is consistent with President Trump's February 2017 Executive Order, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.”