Roberts says WOTUS delay offers time to listen to rural America

A stern opponent of Obama-era burdensome regulations, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, recently announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have postponed the applicability date of the notorious Waters of the United States final rule by two years.

“The Obama administration’s infamous ‘WOTUS’ rule, which burdened rural America with regulatory red tape, is now pushed back two years. This will provide certainty to the regulated community and give EPA time to rewrite the rule while listening to farmers, ranchers and landowners’ concerns—the very folks who were ignored by the previous administration. I’m pleased we now have an administration that is willing to do that.”

The WOTUS rule was developed by the Obama administration’s EPA and the Corps and greatly expanded the EPA’s federal jurisdiction and scope of waterbodies subject to Clean Water Act requirements.

In June 2017, the EPA and the Corps began a replacement rulemaking process to gather input and re-evaluate the definition of WOTUS.

In February 2017, with Chairman Roberts in attendance, President Trump signed an executive order providing relief from the WOTUS rule.

Chairman Roberts held a hearing on the WOTUS rule in the Senate Agriculture Committee and cosponsored bipartisan legislation to repeal the rule in the 114th Congress.