Press Release: Hatch Works to Repeal Costly ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule, Urges EPA to Avoid New Power-Grab After Animas Wastewater Spill

Senator Orrin Hatch, the senior Republican in the United States Senate, has joined 46 other Senators in introducing a joint resolution disapproving of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE). The rule massively expands the scope of federal authority over land and waterways.

“As a longtime proponent of the responsible stewardship of our natural resources, I was extremely disappointed by the EPA's Waters of the United States rule, which represents Washington's regulatory bureaucracy at its worst. This rule threatens to extend the federal government's heavy-handed control over almost all bodies of water in America, even desert washes, small ponds and irrigation ditches on Utah's family farms and ranches. 

Last month, the EPA was responsible for a disastrous wastewater spill that unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated water into the Animas River, much of which flowed into Utah. Before the EPA advances  yet another job-killing regulation, this out-of-control agency should get its own house in order and focus on its existing responsibilities.”

Hatch cited overwhelming opposition to the rule by farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses in Utah and across the country. This resolution would address these concerns by overruling this expensive new regulation.

You can read the full resolution here.

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) served as the primary sponsor of the resolution in the Senate. Original co-sponsors of the resolution include Senators Lamar Alexander, (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Dan Coats (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), David Perdue (R-GA), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Pat Toomey (R-PA), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Sen. Hatch is also a co-sponsor of legislation authored by Sen. Barrasso that provides clear principles and directions for the EPA and ACE to craft a better rule that takes into consideration positions held by key stakeholders and avoids unnecessary federal heavy-handedness.