WASHINGTON, District of Columbia – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement praising President Trump’s Executive Order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review and reconsider the Obama administration’s sweeping re-write of the Waters of the United States Rule.
“The WOTUS rule is a prime example of Washington bureaucrats run amok under the Obama administration, and it needs to go,” Blunt said. “I’ve heard from countless farmers, ranchers, small businesses owners, and elected officials in Missouri who have said this rule will drive up costs and make it impossible for them to do their jobs. I’m grateful that President Trump is taking swift action to protect Missourians, and all Americans, from the fallout of this reckless EPA power grab. I’ll continue supporting the president’s efforts to overturn the rule, and curb all of the harmful, excessive regulations that are hurting our economy.”
As Blunt recently noted in remarks on the Senate floor, the WOTUS rule gives the EPA and Corps jurisdiction over 99.7 percent of Missouri, according to the American Farm Bureau. In comments submitted to both the EPA and the Corps, the Small Business Administration argues that the rule “will have a direct and potentially costly impact on small businesses.” According to the agency, the rule will increase permitting costs by as much as $52 million and environmental mitigation costs by as much as $113 million annually.
On November 4, 2015, Blunt voted in favor of a resolution, which he also cosponsored, overturning the new WOTUS rule. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 53-44. President Obama vetoed the legislation in January of 2016.
On April 30, 2015, Blunt and his colleagues introduced the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. The bipartisan legislation would have ensured the protection of traditional navigable waters of the United States. It would have also protected farmers, ranchers and private landowners by removing isolated ponds, agriculture water, storm water, groundwater, floodwater, municipal water supply systems, wastewater management systems, and streams from the list of water impacted by the rule.
In June of 2014, Blunt joined U.S. Senator John Barrasso (Wyo.) and their colleagues in introducing the Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014. The measure would have prevented the EPA and the Corps from finalizing their March 2014 proposed rule. In March of 2015, Blunt also co-sponsored an amendment that was added to the FY2016 Senate budget to stop the Obama administration from vastly expanding federal jurisdiction over waters in the United States.
“This is the first step toward eliminating a rule that amounts to nothing more than a massive federal power grab that threatened 99% of Missouri land. I applaud the President’s efforts to return control of local lands and waters to the farmers, ranchers, and authorities who know and care for them best.” – Rep. Vicky Hartzler said.