WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after President Trump issued an executive order rolling back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) damaging Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:
“I recently called on President Trump to roll back the Waters of the United States rule and I’m pleased our Minnesota farmers are going to receive needed relief from this ill-conceived Obama Administration regulation. The President’s executive order directs the EPA to use a traditional definition of ‘navigable waters’, and ensures a new rule will be in line with our common goal of clean water standards. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to make life easier for people in Minnesota’s 2nd District.”
Background: In June 2015 the EPA released a final rule regarding what it considers to be ‘navigable waters’ subject to federal jurisdiction. WOTUS included small streams, drainage ditches and creeks on private land far from any actually navigable water. The threat to our farming communities’ traditional land uses was enormous. This rule is now outside the 60-day period in which Congress could roll it back through the use of the Congressional Review Act.
Accordingly, Lewis joined a group of his colleagues to call on the President to take swift action. This request was honored with a February 28, 2017 Executive Order from the White House. The President’s order laid out a new policy and directed the EPA to draft a new rule rescinding WOTUS and in line with the Administration’s policy.