Congressman Fulcher Comments on President Biden Signaling the Revival of WOTUS Regulations
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressman Russ Fulcher is pushing back on the EPA’s recent announcement that it will look into restoring rules and definitions for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations implemented by the Obama Administration. In 2015, this rule established broad definitions that allowed the federal government access to regulate nearly every body of water, regardless of its agricultural use or location on private property.
In January of 2020, the rule was overturned by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) under the direction of President Trump. This was a welcome change for Idahoans, as Congressman Russ Fulcher pointed out upon its instatement last January, “I commend the Trump Administration for keeping their promise and reestablishing the appropriate state authority in relation to the Clean Water Act. This new rule will help Idaho farms, businesses, and other job creators so our state can continue to thrive as an economic leader in our nation.”
Now, the Biden Administration has announced that the NWPR is under review, signaling a potential return to Obama-era regulations by overturning the NWPR and subsequently allowing the EPA to reinstate and expand rules regarding water policy.
This potential action is the newest addition in a long line of environmental policies proposed by President Biden to “tackle the climate crisis” and has received significant opposition, particularly from rural states that were extremely burdened by the original WOTUS rule.
In April 2021, Congressman Fulcher joined Rep. Miller-Meeks’ Resolution, H.Res.318, “expressing a sense of the U.S. House of Representatives that the Navigable Waters Protection Rule not be withdrawn or vacated.” Rep. Fulcher commented on his co-sponsorship, “Idaho farmers, cattlemen, and ranchers will continue to face burdensome red tape if there is no protection from the Obama-era WOTUS rule. The federal government must continue to work with the states to lessen this threat.”
Most recently, Congressman Fulcher and the Congressional Western Caucus wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jaime Pinkham to express serious concerns with the Biden Administration’s decision to potentially undo the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and reopen the definition of “waters of the United States.”
Throughout his tenure in the Idaho State Senate and now in Congress, Congressman Fulcher has been a leader in the fight against the burdensome federal government overreach of WOTUS rules on Idahoans and the country, earning recognition in 2020 from the Food Producers of Idaho for his work on this issue.
Learn more about the effects of WOTUS on Idaho in the video from Congressman Fulcher here.