Miss. Senator Says Trump Regulatory Relief Initiative Stops Obama WOTUS Overreach

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today applauded the release of a final rule to replace the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) scheme that greatly expanded federal regulatory control over state waters, including farm ditches.

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Agriculture Committee, said the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule would give Mississippi greater control over waters within its boundaries and fulfill President Trump’s commitment to roll back WOTUS.

“The new rule restores the rightful balance of federal and state jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.  This will mean protecting our waters without subjecting agriculture, business, industry, and rural communities to gross and overreaching federal regulation.  For Mississippi’s interests, this is a priority,” said Hyde-Smith.  “I’m grateful to President Trump and his administration for correcting the flagrant power grab by the previous administration.” 

In announcing the final action Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the “final revised definition provides clarity, predictability, and consistency so that regulators and the public can understand where the Clean Water Act applies and where it does not.”

The final action details waters not subject to federal control, including:  most farm and roadside ditches; farm and stock watering ponds; prior converted cropland; features only containing water from rainfall; groundwater; and waste treatment systems.

Within four categories, federal agencies would retain oversight of the nation’s navigable waters and the core tributary systems that flow into those waters.  These categories include:  the territorial seas and traditional navigable waters, like the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River; perennial and intermittent tributaries; certain lakes, ponds, and impoundments; and wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters.

More information, including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice and fact sheets, is available here:  https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.