An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

News Releases

News Releases from HeadquartersWater (OW)

Elected Leaders Praise The Trump Administration’s Move To Rescind WOTUS

06/27/2017
Contact Information: 

WASHINGTON – With the EPA moving to rescind WOTUS, leaders from across the country are praising this decision. 

WHAT GOVERNORS ARE SAYING …

Governor Sam Brownback (KS): “The Clean Water Rule was another example of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. trying to run Kansas farms and ranches. Our state is a leader in water innovation, and Kansans have come together through community-led water preservation efforts spurred by our 50-year Water Vision. Our farmers and ranchers know best how to steward their water. We appreciate that President Trump and the EPA will now let our farmers farm and ranchers ranch.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Governor Doug Burgum (ND): “Clean water is critical to quality of life and our economy, and no one cares more about clean water in North Dakota than the people who live here. Today’s action is a welcome step toward a rule recognizing that states are best positioned to protect, manage and regulate their own waters. The Obama administration’s WOTUS rule was a particularly egregious example of regulatory overreach that effectively classified almost every pond, pothole and slough as a federal managed waterway, creating confusion and uncertainty for farmers, ranchers, landowners and local governments. We are encouraged that the EPA and Corps of Engineers have been reaching out to governors early in this renewed rulemaking process, and we hope such consultation will continue and culminate in a rule that respects states’ authority and unique role in protecting their water resources. We are grateful to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for his leadership on this issue.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Governor Eric Greitens (MO): “When we took office, we asked our farmers and ranchers what we could do to fight for them. One of the things we heard is that they needed our help to push back against Obama’s Waters of the US regulations. Well, we took that message to Washington D.C. and the good news is they’ve heard us. They’ve heard that Obama’s Waters of the US regulations are hurting family farmers.” (Facebook, 06/27/17)

Governor Kim Reynolds (IA): “Waters of the United States was a significant and severe case of government overreach by the Obama administration. I want to thank Secretary Pruitt for recognizing that WOTUS forced onerous and unnecessary burdens on Iowa’s farmers and businesses. I also want to express my appreciation to the Trump administration for its continuing commitment to work with states, not against them.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Governor Pete Ricketts (NE): “Thank you to President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for delivering on your promise to roll back this job-killing regulation. This policy returns federal oversight of intra-state waterways to pre-2015 standards, respects the rights of private land owners and states, and provides for ample protection of clean water.  Removing this threat to our state’s top industries gives Nebraska the freedom to grow more opportunities for the next generation in the areas of agriculture and manufacturing.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

WHAT SENATORS ARE SAYING …

Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts: “I’m pleased Administrator Pruitt and the EPA has listened to our concerns and has taken an important first step to rescind the infamous WOTUS rule. For too long, this rule has burdened not only farmers and ranchers, but landowners of all sizes, across the country. With a rewrite of the WOTUS rule, I look forward to seeing a rule that recognizes and respects the environmental strides taken by the American farmer and rancher. I’m grateful to have an EPA that listens to and addresses the concerns of rural America, a vital segment of our economy and true stewards of our natural resources.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Senator Joni Ernst (IA): “I am pleased that the Trump administration is taking another important step toward eliminating this burdensome WOTUS rule. In Iowa, 97 percent of the land is subject to extensive overregulation by the EPA and unnecessarily hamstrings our farmers, businesses and manufacturers. All across Iowa, folks are calling for this rule to be scrapped, which is why I have led efforts in the Senate to do just that. This is good news for Iowa and rural communities across the country as we move closer to finally eliminating this overreaching rule.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Senator Deb Fischer (NE): “Today’s announcement from the administration signals another important step toward full removal of the harmful WOTUS rule. All Nebraskans would have been affected by the far-reaching consequences of this misguided policy. I will continue to monitor the WOTUS withdrawal process to help ensure we see common-sense rulemaking that puts Nebraskans in charge of the decisions involving our state’s water resources.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Senator Chuck Grassley (IA): “This is great news for accountability in government.  This was a bad regulation drafted under a bad process.  The EPA over-reached its authority and ignored and manipulated legitimate concerns raised by the public.   Farmers, land owners and builders in Iowa struggled to make sense of the regulation.  Having the federal EPA and the Corps of Engineers require permits for routine land use decisions is a waste of resources that are better used enforcing existing regulations against discharging pollutants into the nation’s waterways.   Agencies ought to enforce the laws as Congress intended, not stretch beyond their authority to inflict unnecessary expense and red tape on law-abiding farmers and employers.” (Press Release, 06/27/17) 

Senator Dean Heller (NV): "Given that the Nevada is the driest state in the nation, water is a precious resource to Nevadans. Whether it's Marlow from Ruby Valley or Darryl from Yerington, Nevadans around the state have told me that they fear the WOTUS rule provides federal agencies with almost unlimited authority to regulate their farms and ranches at their own discretion. … I applaud the EPA for taking additional steps to repeal the WOTUS rule, which has burdened rural Nevadans and stifled job creation in Nevada.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Senator Steve Daines (MT): “Today marks the beginning of restoring private property rights while protecting our environment. Out of state D.C. bureaucrats shouldn’t impose regulations that hurt Montana farmers, ranchers and landowners.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

Senator John Barrasso (WY): “The WOTUS rule would have put backyard ponds, puddles, and prairie pot holes under Washington’s control.” “I applaud the Trump administration for working to remove this indefensible regulation. I will continue to work closely with the administration as it seeks commonsense ways to keep America’s water clean and safe.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

WHAT REPRESENTATIVES ARE SAYING …

Speaker of the U.S. House, Paul Ryan: "The West has finally won in the battle over the Obama administration’s WOTUS rule. This regulation would have been a disaster for the West and rural communities across the country, giving Washington near-total control over water resources. The livelihoods of American farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs were at stake. I applaud the Trump administration for siding with American jobs and rescinding this harmful rule.” (Twitter, 06/27/17)

House Ag Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX): “WOTUS has never been about clean water, it was about feeding the Obama EPA’s insatiable appetite for power. Well that ends now. Today’s EPA announcement is an important first step to getting the federal government out of America’s backyards, fields and ditches and restoring certainty and integrity to our regulatory process.  But our work isn’t done. As the case of California farmer John Duarte clearly highlights, the Corps and DOJ also need to re-evaluate and revise their enforcement of the Clean Water Act and WOTUS to ensure we protect our farmers and ranchers from onerous fines and penalties that threaten their way of life. I have confidence this administration will get the policy right and allow farmers and ranchers to be the capable stewards of the land they’ve always been.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S Rep. Liz Cheney (WY): “The Clean Water Rule was a power grab by the Obama Administration that attempted to expand federal control and regulations well beyond the initial scope of Waters of the U.S. The rule threatened the loss of precious resources for hardworking ranchers and farmers in Wyoming, and if left unchecked, would have devastated our rural economy. I am pleased to see EPA Administrator Pruitt and the Army Corps of Engineers taking these steps to return power to the states and provide them with regulatory certainty. I also remain committed to working in Congress towards a full repeal of burdensome regulations imposed by the previous administration.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (GA): “Northeast Georgia farmers, ranchers, and small businesses are natural conservationists who have been overburdened by the illogical Waters of the United States regulation. I applaud the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency for their move to repeal the WOTUS rule in favor of statutes that actually serve our communities and steward their natural resources wisely.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH): “I applaud Administrator Pruitt’s announcement to withdraw the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule, which expanded federal authority at the expense of the states and eroded private property rights. The EPA should not treat farmers, ranchers, homebuilders, local governments, or state environmental agencies as adversaries but rather collaborators in drafting a new WOTUS rule.  American farmers who feed the world are among those most concerned with protecting our environment.  The next WOTUS rule should take their opinions and concerns into account and I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt to craft a reasonable rule that protects the environment and private property rights at the same time.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX): Washington bureaucrats in cubicles should not be deciding the fate of our waterways, nor should they be allowed to completely and arbitrarily control the economic fate of landowners even to the point of ending their ability to make a living. Unelected bureaucrats have, for years, been enviously dreaming of the day they could control American landowners' property by the backdoor methods of completely controlling everything involving water on or near the land. Repealing the Obama Administration’s WOTUS Rule is essential in getting the federal government out of everyday farming operations. It is neither right nor fair to subject producers and landowners to jurisdictional protocols and extraordinary levels of compliance charges. Today the EPA took a giant step forward in safeguarding the water rights of hard-working Americans and ending the federal power grab the Obama Administration engineered. It is a victory for those who love liberty and something called private property.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (LA): “The so called ‘WOTUS Rule’ was a gross overreach by the Obama Administration and put mud puddles and backyard ditches under government control. Farmers and every day Americans all across the country have been subjected to new, burdensome regulations that kill jobs and further hinder the economy. Removing this rule will restore common sense to water regulation and return power back to the states and to the people.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO): “The previous administration used the vague language in the WOTUS Rule to harm local communities—including ranchers, farmers, small business owners. I am grateful that this new ruling will establish regulatory certainty and restore order to state and tribal water laws that should have jurisdiction over these bodies of water. I look forward to a revision of this rule that will empower local landowners instead of giving power solely to the federal government.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA):  “WOTUS is one of the most burdensome EPA rules of the Obama Administration. You think about the impact it’s had on rural communities, on our cattlemen and farmers— it’s making it more and more difficult for hardworking Americans to be successful. It’s something I’ve heard about frequently in Eastern Washington. Thank you to President Trump and his administration for taking action to ensure this rule no longer targets our rural communities.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (AZ): “WOTUS is a sweeping regulation written by unelected bureaucrats that would give the EPA jurisdiction over any type of body of water on private land—lakes, ponds, creeks, and even desert washes. I have heard from countless small businesses, farmers, and ranchers that this rule prevents them from doing their job, which is why I led dozens of my colleagues in Congress in writing to the Administration in February urging the President to reverse this rule for the sake of Southern Arizona and communities throughout the United States. I am pleased with the EPA’s decision to repeal the harmful WOTUS rule—and I know that Americans across the country are relieved by this news.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S Rep. Kristi Noem (SD): “Under the Obama-era WOTUS rule, treating your lawn for mosquitos, putting up a fence in your backyard or spraying your crops could become federally regulated activities that carry substantial fines if violations occur – knowingly or unknowingly. The Trump administration is right to propose a repeal.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (CO): “This announcement from Administrator Pruitt is welcome news. State law and priority-based systems have ensured clean, safe, and reliable water supplies for over a century in Colorado and the West. The WOTUS rule would have usurped long-held state water law and threatened access to private water rights. Western water users will now have much needed certainty while the EPA re-writes the definition of ‘Waters of the United States.” (Press Release, 06/27/17)