Ernst Urges EPA, Army Corps to Provide Transparency Following Decision to Roll Back Commonsense Water Rule

The Iowa senator’s push comes as she continues working to ensure a new, reasonable waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) definition is made permanent.

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Agriculture and Environment and Public Works Committees, joined her colleagues in pressing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on their decision to repeal and replace the clearer, more flexible Navigable Waters Protection rule the senator fought to put into place.
 
In their letter, Ernst and her colleagues write:We were very disappointed to learn of the decision made public on June 9, 2021 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to repeal and replace the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR). The NWPR provides clarity, predictability, and consistency in application of the Clean Water Act (CWA).”
 
They go on to say:After the Administration’s continued commitments to transparency, engagement, and communication with stakeholders and Congress on this issue, the lack of transparency surrounding the decision to abandon this legally defensible and environmentally sound rule is disheartening.”
 
To read the full letter, click here.
 
Background:
Last week, Ernst helped introduce the Define WOTUS Act, a bill to legislatively define the “waters of the United States,” (WOTUS) and make a reasonable, workable definition of the term permanent.
 
In a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week, Ernst and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) expressed their concern over the Biden Administration’s decision to roll back the previous administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule.
 
Ernst also helped introduce the bipartisan Prove It Act, legislation that aims to improve transparency and strengthen the voices of Iowa’s small businesses in the federal rulemaking process. The senator cited the Obama-Biden WOTUS rule as an example of a regulation that would have burdened Iowa farmers, landowners, and businesses.
 
In April, Ernst led a Senate resolution that expresses the need for the U.S. Senate to stand with farmers, ranchers, and other important stakeholders by supporting the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule, which replaced the Obama-era WOTUS rule.
 
Ernst penned a column on the Biden Administration’s decision to undo the commonsense Navigable Waters Protection Rule, calling the move a “gut punch to Iowans.”
 
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