WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and 48 of his Senate Republican colleagues recently introduced 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 2022repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), and changing the definition of WOTUS in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.
“The Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule places unnecessary burdens on North Carolina’s farmers and agriculture community. While I support protecting our clean water system, we cannot allow these stifling regulations to cripple North Carolina’s largest industry,” said Senator Tillis. “I encourage President Biden and my Democrat colleagues to rethink this WOTUS rule before they do irreversible damage to the agriculture industry. I will always stand with North Carolina workers, farmers, manufacturers, and businesses.”
Full text of the resolution can be found here.
A one-pager can be found here.
In 2015, the Obama Administration finalized a rule that expanded the definition of WOTUS, creating confusion and burdensome red tape.
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.