With Repeal of Obama-Era WOTUS Rule, Noem Urges Public to Comment on Replacement Proposal
Washington, D.C. – An outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s expanded “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) definition, Rep. Kristi Noem today applauded a rollback of the Obama-era rule and urged the public to comment on the Trump administration’s replacement proposal.
“The Obama administration attempted to pull off one of the largest federal land grabs in U.S. history when it finalized the Waters of the U.S. rule,” said Noem. “There is no question that the Obama-era rule needed to be replaced. To help ensure today’s proposal will offer the clarity farmers, ranchers, and homeowners deserve without the massive government expansion that President Obama’s EPA had attempted, I encourage folks to review the proposed rule and weigh in through the public comment process.”
As finalized by the Obama administration, the WOTUS rule could greatly expand the federal government’s control over small and seasonal bodies of water throughout South Dakota and the country. Estimates show that if a landowner falls out of compliance, penalties could cost more than $30,000 per violation, per day.
In May 2015, Noem helped the U.S. House of Representatives pass the bipartisan H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would send the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers back to the drawing board on the WOTUS rule. Months later, a federal appellate court temporarily suspended the nationwide implementation of the WOTUS rule, a suspension that holds today.
In January 2016, Noem joined the House in passing legislation disapproving the rule. President Obama later vetoed the bill. In February 2017, Noem joined more than 35 Members of Congress in a letter to President Trump, urging the administration to take action to repeal WOTUS.
The Trump administration did so, and today proposed several changes to the 2015 WOTUS rules, including:
For more information, constituents can visit https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule. Public comment will be accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. There will also be an information webcast on January 10, 2019, and a public hearing in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019. Information on both events will be posted to https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule