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Ernst Statement after WOTUS Rule is Halted in Iowa

WASHINGTON – Senator Ernst released the following statement, after the U.S.  District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a request from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to apply the 2015 stay of the United States Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule to Iowa:

“The 2015 WOTUS rule is an egregious example of federal overreach and creates unnecessary and burdensome red tape for farmers, manufacturers and small businesses. Governor Reynolds successfully prevented WOTUS from taking effect in Iowa, while the state continues to fight this harmful rule,” Senator Joni Ernst.


On September 18, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted Governor Reynolds’ request to stop enforcement of the WOTUS rule in Iowa. This request came after a federal court in South Carolina ruled that WOTUS could go into effect in states not covered by previous stays of the rule. Because Iowa was not a part of the lawsuits that led to the earlier stays, WOTUS could have been enforced in the state following the South Carolina ruling. 

The 2015 WOTUS rule was a product of the Obama Administration and would give the federal government authority to regulate water on 97 percent of the land in Iowa. With legal challenges to the rule still ongoing, it is currently on hold in 25 states.

Sen. Ernst’s Efforts to Scrap WOTUS:

  • Called out the EPA’s illegal use of taxpayer dollars to rally support for the harmful WOTUS rule.
  • Applauded Senate passage of her resolution of disapproval to scrap the WOTUS rule which passed with bipartisan majority support.
  • 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 directions 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 EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to Iowa to see the potential impact of overregulation in Iowa. Administrator McCarthy has yet to take Senator Ernst up on this offer.