MANHATTAN, KAN. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s latest regulation to expand the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. The regulation – drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – was set to go into effect today, but was halted by the U.S. District Court in North Dakota.
“It is complete nonsense for the EPA to claim the U.S. District Court’s order to halt implementation only applies to some states, while promising to begin enforcement in other states like Kansas,” Sen. Moran said. “This is yet another attempt by the EPA to run roughshod over whoever and whatever obstacle stands in its way to implement the regulation. We watched the EPA dismiss the concerns voiced by Americans from across the country regarding the regulation, including overwhelming opposition from farmers and ranchers. Now the EPA is choosing to selectively enforce a U.S. District Court’s order to halt implementation of the rule.”
Sen. Moran continued, “We can protect our nation’s waters without the kind of federal regulatory overreach and the violation of private property rights that will harm our economy and cost us jobs. This regulation threatens to bring millions of acres of privately held land under the federal government’s regulatory control for the first time ever. While the court’s ruling is a welcome development as it confirms the unlawful nature of the WOTUS regulation, Congress must still move quickly to limit the federal government’s overreach and to protect landowners from the new costs and burdens that would be imposed by the regulation.”
The EPA claims the ruling only blocks the regulation in the thirteen states that sought the injunction from the North Dakota court and plans to begin enforcement of the rule in the other states, including Kansas. The state of Kansas joined in filing a separate lawsuit challenging the legality of the regulation in the U.S. District Court in Augusta, Ga.
Sen. Moran has consistently fought against this administration’s radical environmental agenda that threatens the Kansas economy and jobs. 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 cosponsor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S.1140) to stop the regulation’s implementation and force EPA to go back to the drawing board and stay within its constitutional and legal authority.