WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) has fought hard to get rid of the overly burdensome, Obama-era 2015 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that gave the federal government authority to regulate water on 97 percent of the land in Iowa. Fortunately for Iowans, her voice was heard by the Trump Administration when they proposed a replacement rule intended to provide certainty and predictability.

Building on her efforts to ensure this new rule is good for Iowa’s farmers and landowners, yesterday at a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing, Senator Ernst pressed leaders in the agriculture community about the definitions and qualifications of WOTUS.

Click here or on the image above to watch Senator Ernst’s full line of questioning.  

Witnesses at the Senate EPW Committee hearing included Todd Fornstrom, President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation; Doug C. Goehring, Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture; and, Richard Elías, Supervisor of District 5 of the Pima County Board of Supervisors in Arizona.

Senator Ernst’s Efforts to Scrap the 2015 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.

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