U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) joined all 48 of his Senate Republican colleagues in introducing a formal challenge to the Biden administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval.
The resolution comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a new rule in December 2022 repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), and changing the definition of Waters of the United States in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.
“The EPA’s decision to rewrite the WOTUS rule will create red tape for Hoosier farmers and builders who need regulatory clarity,” said Young. “This is an unnecessary bureaucratic overreach that I have long opposed, and I will fight to check these unfair, confusing, and costly regulations.”
Full text of the resolution can be found here.
A one-pager can be found here.
BACKGROUND ON WOTUS, NWPR:
In 2015, the Obama administration finalized a rule that expanded the definition of WOTUS, creating confusion and burdensome red tape, especially for West Virginia’s agriculture, construction, and coal industries.
The Trump administration released a proposed rule to replace the 2015 WOTUS rule with a new one that provided much-needed predictability and certainty for farmers by establishing clear and reasonable definitions of what qualifies as a “water of the United States.” The NWPR was finalized in 2020.
On day one of his administration, President Biden signed an executive order to begin the process of rolling back the Trump administration’s NWPR.
In December 2022, the EPA issued a new rule repealing the NWPR and changing the definition of WOTUS in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.