After Pressure from Noem, USDA Withdraws Portion of WOTUS Rule
Noem urges EPA and Army Corps to ditch the remainder of the rule
Washington, D.C. – Following pressure from Rep. Kristi Noem and others, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) withdrew the “waters of the U.S.” interpretive rule, a portion of the controversial expansion of navigable waters.
“The proposed expansion could be one of the largest federal land grabs in U.S. history,” said Noem. “I was thrilled to see that the USDA withdrew a portion of this proposal, as it unnecessarily introduced a high level of uncertainty. But we aren’t out of the woods yet. I will continue putting pressure on the EPA and the Army Corps to fully ditch the rule and move towards a policy that is workable for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.”
Last year, Rep. Noem helped lead the U.S. House of Representatives in passing bipartisan legislation to prohibit the EPA and the Army Corps from developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering or enforcing the proposed rule to or any similar rule that would expand the agencies’ jurisdiction over these waters. She also called on the EPA to define regulated navigable waters on a map after an alarming graphic was released that has raised questions about how extensive the EPA’s regulatory authority could become. Read more and view the graphic here.
In May 2014, Rep. Noem joined 231 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle on a letter urging the EPA and the Secretary of the Army to withdraw the proposed rule. She also questioned the USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at an Agriculture Committee hearing in June. Here, the Congresswoman raised concerns about the lack of clarity the interpretive rule would provide to producers and questioned why the administration is pursuing the rule when so many are opposed to it (watch the exchange here).