Lucas: Reversal of WOTUS Rule Hurts Rural America

Jun 10, 2021

Cheyenne, OK – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the Biden Administration announced yesterday its intent to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States”- or WOTUS- and rescind the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR):

“Farmers, ranchers, and landowners of Oklahoma have long been good stewards of their land and the environment. After hand-tying regulation of the Obama-era WOTUS rule, President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule provided long-overdue certainty and clarity for landowners. The Biden Administration’s intent to reverse the Navigable Waters Protection Rule hurts those who call rural America home and once again places stringent burdens on America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and rural communities,” said Congressman Lucas. “I implore the Biden Administration to reconsider the dismantling of the current policy and keep intact the rule that has given clarity to rural communities across the United States.”

The 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule significantly expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” and gave the federal government authority to regulate almost any waters; including streams, ditches, ponds, and creeks. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), finalized by the Trump Administration in April 2020, revised the definition of WOTUS and reversed this overreach, bringing back a balance between federal and state jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. 

In 2019, The Oklahoman Editorial Board stated the “Enivronmnetal Protection Agency’s recent repeal of an Obama-era rule is good news for the state’s farmers and ranchers”. 


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