WOTUS overturned in the house

This week the U.S. House voted to overturn the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, which would expand federal authority over virtually any water in the nation, irrigation ditches, stock ponds and even land that is dry most of the time. This resolution passed the House today with bipartisan support. The resolution passed the Senate in late 2014. It will head to the White House where, unfortunately, it is expected to be vetoed.

HJ Resolution 59, introduced by Congressman Adrian Smith (Nebraska), provides for congressional disapproval of the WOTUS rule under the provisions of the Congressional Review Act. A strong, bipartisan vote in the House will help us in continuing legislative and legal efforts to halt EPA’s overreach.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) finalized a rule last year that will significantly expand the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The final rule is even broader than the proposed rule was in number of areas. This regulation expands federal authority beyond the limits approved by Congress and reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court; the impact on farmers and ranchers will be enormous. Farm Bureau is seeking to require EPA to withdraw this regulation and propose a new rule that reflects not only the limitations imposed by both Congress and the Supreme Court but the views offered after formal consultation with states.

Oregon Farm Bureau thanks all of its members that took action by contacting Oregon’s congressional delegation on this very important issue.

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