Lucas: ‘Obama Administration, EPA has Shut Out Rural America’

May 27, 2015 Issues: Agriculture

Pawnee, Okla. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) today released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States final rule:

“Today the EPA stands by its decision to expand federal control over our nation’s waterways. This means anything from the largest lakes and rivers to the smallest drainage ditches commonly found on farms and ranches are subject to government scrutiny and penalties. The public has spoken loud and clear on this issue, yet the Obama administration has shut out rural America from its decision-making process.

“Oklahoma’s ag producers share the same conservation goals as the rest of our country; subjecting them to arbitrary fines and even more regulation will not make America’s water any cleaner. I continue to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in strong opposition to this brazen government overreach.”

EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule seeks to define the rivers, streams, and other bodies of water that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The final rule redefines “navigable waterway” – which has traditionally guided federal policy – to potentially any flowing or standing water on public or private land.

Earlier this month the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015. This legislation prevents the administration from implementing the Waters of the U.S. Rule. It also requires the EPA to rewrite the rule and consider public input from the thousands of Americans who submitted comments on this matter.