WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing this week to review the Army Corps of Engineers’ participation in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) development of the new regulatory definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS):
“It is disturbing to hear that input from the Army Corps of Engineers was ignored by the Obama Administration in their latest regulation to expand the definition of WOTUS,” Sen. Moran said. “This news comes along with the EPA’s dismissal of the concerns voiced by Americans across the country, and selective enforcement of a U.S. District Court’s order to halt implementation of the rule. Never has the disconnect between Washington and Kansas been more evident than with this attempt by the EPA to run roughshod over whoever and whatever obstacle stands in its way. Unfortunately, this rule will bring millions of privately held acres under EPA’s regulatory control, creating burdens and costs for producers that threaten their very livelihood.”
EPA overlooked qualified opinions that may have slowed down or derailed the implementation of the rule despite internal memos showing that career experts at the Army Corps of Engineers voiced concerns. The concerns include a lack of evidence by science or law and go far beyond the legal jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Moran supported the inclusion of a provision in the FY2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill to block funding for the implementation of the WOTUS rule. Sen. Moran is also a sponsor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, a bill that would stop the implementation of the WOTUS regulations and force the agency to redraft it in a clear, legal manner that truly protects our nation’s waters without infringing on private property rights.