US Senator Gardner Applauds Final Repeal of WOTUS Rule
Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers finalized a rule to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
“Today is a victory for Colorado’s farmers, cattlemen, ranchers, and small business owners,” said Senator Gardner. “This burdensome regulation from the Obama Administration would have been harmful to Colorado’s economy and especially our agriculture community. Today’s announcement is welcome news and finally prevents an unconstitutional takeover of Colorado’s rivers, streams, and local waterways.”
“The final repeal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule is an important landmark to the farm families of Colorado, as it paves the way for new clearer, concise rules to be put in place,” said Don Shawcroft, President of the Colorado Farm Bureau. “Water is one of our most valuable resources and this decision shows it is possible to have both clean water and sensible rules.”
“This announcement from EPA is a huge burden lifted off the backs of America’s cattle producers,” said Colin Woodall, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “The overly burdensome 2015 WOTUS rule would have been one of the largest government land grabs in history, and would have allowed EPA the ability to tell cattlemen and women what they could or could not do on their own land. Cattle producers are a part of the solution when it comes to clean water, so we are thankful this nightmare is over. We look forward to working with EPA to finalize a replacement rule which respects private property rights.”
Gardner has been a consistent opponent of the WOTUS rule. He denounced the final WOTUS Rule when it was revealed in May of 2015 and applauded the decision by Federal Judge Ralph Erickson to halt the rule’s implementation in 13 states. In September of 2015, he signed on as a cosponsor of the resolution of disapproval authored by Senator Ernst (R-IA), which later passed the Senate with Gardner’s support.
When the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals halted implementation of WOTUS nationwide in October of 2015, Gardner called it “a victory for agriculture, rural communities, and all Coloradans.” In November of 2015, he voted in favor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which would have forced the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to re-write the WOTUS rule with much stronger state and agricultural protections as well as more input from local communities.
In January of 2016, Gardner voted to override the President’s veto of legislation that would repeal WOTUS, and in April of 2016 he voted in favor of an amendment to the Senate Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from using funding to enforce the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy