Ernst Applauds WOTUS Rule Executive Order

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that begins the process of rescinding the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:

“Today’s action is a significant step forward toward rolling back the burdensome WOTUS rule that hamstrings Iowa farmers, businesses and manufacturers,” said Senator Ernst. “Throughout my 99 county tour across the state, I hear from folks repeatedly calling for this rule to be scrapped, which is why I have led efforts to do just that. This ill-conceived rule gives the EPA extensive power to regulate water on 97 percent of the land in the state of Iowa, breeding uncertainty and confusion for many in Iowa and across the country.

“I’m thrilled that Washington is finally standing up for our rural communities and holding our government accountable as we move forward toward finally eliminating this burdensome and overreaching rule.”

During her pre-confirmation meeting with now Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Senator Ernst invited Mr. Pruitt to Iowa to visit an ethanol plant and see the impact WOTUS could have on farmers, landowners and small businesses.


Senator Ernst’s Efforts to Scrap the WOTUS Rule:

  • Introduced a resolution that expresses the need to vacate the Obama administration’s WOTUS rule.
  • Praised the bipartisan passage in both chambers of her resolution of disapproval to eliminate the expanded definition of the WOTUS rule. The Obama administration vetoed this legislation and Senator Ernst vowed to continue looking for ways to roll back the WOTUS rule.
  • Called out the EPA’s illegal use of taxpayer dollars to rally support for the harmful WOTUS rule.
  • Spoke on the floor of the Senate to urge support for her resolution of disapproval to eliminate the expanded definition of the WOTUS rule.
  • Released a statement following a federal court ruling to issue a nationwide stay, suspending implementation of WOTUS.
  • Cosponsored Senator Barrasso’s proposal, which provided clear principles and direction for the EPA and ACE to craft a WOTUS rule that takes into consideration positions held by key stakeholders.
  • Denounced the EPA’s finalized WOTUS rule as harmful to Iowa.
  • Introduced Iowa farmer and small business owner Darcy Maulsby to testify on the impact of WOTUS before the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and share her personal experience with the harmful impact and overregulation by the EPA in Iowa.
  • Invited former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to Iowa to see the potential impact of overregulation in Iowa. Administrator McCarthy never took Senator Ernst up on this offer.

Impact on Iowa:

According to an analysis by the Iowa Farm Bureau, an expanded definition of the WOTUS rule would expand EPA jurisdiction to over approximately 97 percent of Iowa.

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