Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter led by Rep. Sam Graves (MO-06) outlining concerns regarding the Biden Administration’s announcement that they intend to undo the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

The 2015 WOTUS rule significantly expanded the definition of the Waters of the United States and gave the federal government authority to regulate almost any waters; including streams, ditches, ponds and creeks. The Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule reversed this overreach, bringing back a balance between federal and state jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

In part, the letter reads: “The Obama Administration’s overreaching WOTUS rule had a disastrous effect on farmers, businesses, and families.  That rule drew substantial opposition from states, local governments, and citizens across the Nation challenging the overbreadth of the definitions included.  The regulatory burden placed on average Americans and the effect on the economy would be detrimental if the Agencies were to remove the definitions included in the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, especially as we look to restart the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.  If we want to help get Americans back to work, the Administration cannot continue to propose partisan executive and legislative actions which will only slow down or reverse the economic recovery.”

“This latest action by the Biden Administration is another example of government overregulation on our farmers, landowners, small businesses and their property,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The Trump Administration significantly reduced this burden and instituted the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to keep land and water clean without destroying business in the process. Many North Country farmers have expressed concern over the Biden Administration’s proposal to reimpose detrimental federal intervention on land and water throughout the United States. Farmers are the original stewards of the land and they should be able to make decisions to protect their property and our natural resources without government overreach.”