Resolution of disapproval “will give every member of Congress the chance to stand with farmers, ranchers, landowners, and builders, and protect future transportation, infrastructure, and energy projects of all kinds in their states.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today joined all 48 of his Republican colleagues, led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, in introducing a formal challenge to the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval.
The resolution comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a new rule in December 2022 repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), and changing the definition of Waters of the United States in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.
“States and local communities—not the federal government—know best how to manage their lands and waters, and we should keep it that way,” Senator Romney said. “The Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule will impose harmful and burdensome regulations on Utah’s farmers, ranchers, and landowners. I’m proud to join my colleagues in the effort to oppose this blatant federal power grab of our nation’s waters.”
“With its overreaching navigable waters rule, the Biden administration upended regulatory certainty and placed unnecessary burdens directly on millions of Americans,” Ranking Member Capito said. “This Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval will give every member of Congress the chance to stand with farmers, ranchers, landowners, and builders, and protect future transportation, infrastructure, and energy projects of all kinds in their states. I appreciate the widespread support we’ve received in both the Senate and House, and across the country, as we fight to place an important check on this misguided overreach from the Biden administration.”
BACKGROUND ON WOTUS, NWPR:
In 2015, the Obama Administration finalized a rule that expanded the definition of WOTUS, creating confusion and burdensome red tape, especially for Utah’s agriculture, construction, and coal industries.
The Trump Administration released a proposed rule to replace the 2015 WOTUS rule with a new one that provided much-needed predictability and certainty for farmers by establishing clear and reasonable definitions of what qualifies as a “water of the United States.” The NWPR was finalized in 2020.
On day one of his Administration, President Biden signed an executive order to begin the process of rolling back the Trump Administration’s NWPR.
In December 2022, the EPA issued a new rule repealing the NWPR and changing the definition of WOTUS in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.