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Rounds, Colleagues Submit Comments in Support of Proposed Withdrawal of the WOTUS Rule

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), along with 10 of his colleagues, sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Douglas Lamont in support of the proposed withdrawal of the 2015 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.


The letter applauds Administrator Pruitt’s efforts to remove the problematic rule and highlights the need for its withdrawal.


In the letter, the senators emphasize that the 2015 WOTUS rule is contrary to law. “The courts have been clear that a federal agency may not exceed the statutory authority granted to it by Congress,” wrote the senators. “The indefensibility of the 2015 rule also is a justification for its withdrawal.  In addition to the grounds stated by the courts staying the 2015 WOTUS rule, it’s notable that the Corps raised similar concerns before the final rule was issued.”


The senators close the letter by calling on the agencies to reissue a new rule that more accurately defines the Waters of the United States. “We urge EPA and the Corps to develop a replacement WOTUS rule as soon as possible. The definition of waters of the United States has been the subject of many years of litigation, which could be brought to rest by a scientifically sound WOTUS rule that respects the intent of Congress.”