Stefanik, Colleagues Call on the Biden Administration to Drop WOTUS Expansion

Plan Would Burden Farmers, Small Businesses, and Rural Communities

March 15, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik joined her colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to drop its plan to expand the scope of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), which would unnecessarily burden businesses, communities, and private citizens.
“The Biden Administration’s plan to expand the scope of WOTUS is another example of government overregulation on our farmers, landowners, small businesses, and their property, Stefanik said. “I’m calling on the Biden Administration to halt its plan to expand federal control over water and private land through WOTUS.”
“This rule asserted federal jurisdiction over typically dry channels and a variety of intrastate non-navigable isolated waters. It is expected that a decision in Sackett would set forth a clearer and more appropriate test to define WOTUS and deliver certainty to the farmers, ranchers, private landowners, and industries who face the burden of this federal overreach,” the lawmakers wrote.
In the letter, the lawmakers outline the uncertainty that would be created if such a decision were made before the recently announced WOTUS-related Supreme Court case (Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency) is decided. The lawmakers wrote, “not only would this be a misuse of agency resources and taxpayer dollars, it would only serve to leave the regulated community with prolonged uncertainty regarding regulations and enforcement.”
A Supreme Court ruling on WOTUS later this year will have significant impacts on any rule the Agencies put forward. A premature rulemaking will compound existing uncertainty and confusion for stakeholders, who have already experienced years of uncertainty over WOTUS definition and scope changes. The Agencies have stated their rulemaking will take into account “updates to be consistent with relevant Supreme Court decisions.” With such a significant decision pending, refusing to push pause on their current rewrite rather than wait for the Supreme Court’s action could lead to another complete rewrite just months down the line, wasting taxpayer resources.
Following the harmful impact of the Obama Administration’s 2015 WOTUS rule, Stefanik has stood up against the Biden Administration’s harmful plans to increase government overreach under WOTUS.
Read the full letter here.