EPA Administrator questioned about WOTUS

The Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator had to defend the current Waters of the U.S. rule before a Senate committee Wednesday.

Senator Katie Britt of Alabama told EPA Administrator Michael Regan during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing farmers have enough on their plate and should not have to worry that ponds, ditches, or mudholes on their land are federally regulated and the uncertainty has created a high cost for farmers.  “The cost is. Hundreds of thousands of dollars for Americans to comply with ever-changing regulations. Alabamians shouldn’t need to pay a lawyer to find out if a ditch on their land is now federally regulated.”

 Regan defended the WOTUS rule and says the ambiguity isn’t solely on the EPA. “Multiple supreme courts have weighed in on this. At least three to four administrations have tried to get this right. What we’ve done is we’ve taken a look at what the courts have ruled prior, what the Supreme Court has said prior and we attempted to put a rule in place that was much more durable legally.”

 Britt questioned the administration’s economic analysis saying the WOTUS rule would have no economic impact and she says cattlemen, foresters, and farmers have tended to their land for generations, and depend on the fruitfulness of that land to continue. 

Britt says she’s glad her state is currently protected from the WOTUS rule by a federal court ruling and would like the agency to pay attention to the negative economic impacts of the WOTUS rule.

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