Barletta applauds move to remove WOTUS rule

Phillip Butler
March 3, 2017

The order would revamp the Obama administration's controversial rule under the Clean Water Act, which was passed by Congress in 1972 to protect "navigable waters", a term defined as "waters of the United States, including the territorial seas". "Relief is on the way with respect to withdrawing the Waters of the United States rule", he said to applause.

"There's no certainty about how the courts are going to rule", said Paul Mendelsohn, NALP's vice president of government affair. "The president's executive order is a step forward in holding the EPA accountable to the American people, and I look forward to supporting his continued efforts to dismantle the Waters of the USA rule". "The EPA's regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands and regulations and permits started treating our wonderful small farmers and small businesses as if they were a major industrial polluter". "It was a massive power grab", Trump said. Pruitt was present Tuesday when Trump signed the executive order to begin the process of rescinding or revising WOTUS. The order also establishes a President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs but leaves much of the budgeting and administration of the initiative for the Department of Education.

The EPA used the Clean Water Rule wants to clarify a portion of the Clean Water Act to give the agency more control over millions of acres of wetlands and streams.

Under WOTUS, all tributaries that have a bed, bank and a high water mark are automatically protected, among other water bodies. "It was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible, and extremely hard to implement", Wesley Spurlock, NCGA president, said in the release. The legal wrangling could take years while the US Senate is closely split, meaning that Democrats could use the filibuster to defeat Republican proposals to curb environmental standards. But the environmental group the Sierra Club said Trump's rhetoric and policies show that he "does not care about our clean air, clean water, or a changing climate threatening American communities".

Calling the rule "very large and complex", the official said the review would likely take a "long time to get through". "They're not federally mandated issues, I don't think, and each farm is different we have learned, and each approach to water quality can and should be different to economically and viably address those issues". "We've put a lot of effort in messaging and letting the previous administration and the current administration know that the rule is an egregious overreach and way too open to interpretation".

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