House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement it is repealing the Obama administration’s waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule and called on other agencies to revise and re-evaluate their enforcement of this onerous provision. Following the EPA’s announcement, Chairman Conaway made the below remarks:
“WOTUS has never been about clean water, it was about feeding the Obama EPA’s insatiable appetite for power. Well, that ends now. This EPA announcement is an important first step to getting the federal government out of America’s backyards, fields, and ditches and restoring certainty and integrity to our regulatory process.
“But our work isn’t done. As the case of California farmer John Duarte clearly highlights, the Corps and DOJ also need to re-evaluate and revise their enforcement of the Clean Water Act and WOTUS to ensure we protect our farmers and ranchers from onerous fines and penalties that threaten their way of life. I have confidence this administration will get the policy right and allow farmers and ranchers to be the capable stewards of the land they’ve always been.”
Last month, Chairman Conaway and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for a review of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to prosecute a California court case alleging violations under the Clean Water Act – directly related to the Obama administration’s waters of the U.S. rule.
More information on Mr. Duarte’s $2.8 million court case and Chairman Conaway’s letter is available here.