Rounds Statement on Democrat Filibuster of Bill to Stop WOTUS

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today issued the following statement after Senate Democrats filibustered S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, of which he is an original cosponsor. The Federal Water Quality Protection Act would have prevented the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule from taking effect and would have tasked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers with completely redrafting the rule using specific direction from Congress.

“I am disappointed that Senate Democrats have blocked this commonsense bill to keep our navigable waters safe while also protecting the rights of South Dakota farmers, ranchers and private landowners,” said Rounds. “The overreaching WOTUS rule is one of the largest land grabs in the history of our country and grossly oversteps the intent of the Clean Water Act passed by Congress. Two separate federal courts have blocked its implementation on these grounds, and a bipartisan majority in Congress are working to stop it. I will continue to seek ways to protect South Dakotans from the WOTUS rules’ burdensome new permitting requirements and steep new penalties.”

In June, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a final WOTUS rule that expanded the scope of federal authority over land and water at the expense of states. So far, thirty-one states, including South Dakota, have filed lawsuits against the WOTUS rule and two courts have blocked its implementation.