Greg Walden Statement on EPA’s Revision to WOTUS
Today, Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released a statement applauding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for repealing the Obama-era rules concerning “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS).
Walden has heard concerns from many farmers and ranchers across Oregon that the 2015 Obama Administration WOTUS ruling was overreaching and would negatively impact their work. The old WOTUS ruling greatly expanded the EPA’s jurisdiction and control over local land use decisions. Under the 2015 ruling, the EPA could potentially regulate bodies of water such as irrigation and drainage ditches on farmland, causing uncertainty for farmers who potentially faced litigation or onerous permit requirements under the previous “Waters of the United States” definition.
“Farmers and ranchers across Oregon have expressed their concerns with the overreaching Obama-era definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS),” said Walden. “They worried that the intermittent stream or irrigation ditch would be subject to burdensome new federal regulation. The EPA’s release of the final rule, which abolishes the Obama-era rule, is welcome news across rural Oregon. I applaud President Trump and his administration for listening to our farmers and ranchers and acting to repeal the flawed original rule and appropriately redefine Waters of the United States.”
The Administration’s new and final rule abolishes the previous heavy-handed WOTUS rules and replaces it with improved guidelines that take into consideration the well-being of rural Americans.