WASHINGTON (April 21, 2020) – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota issued the following statement Tuesday following the finalization of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a replacement for the former “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Since the first inception of this rule, I’ve worked to secure changes to it with the goal of protecting clean water without making it harder for farmers and ranchers to operate,” said Peterson. “I’m encouraged that the new rule takes steps to protect lakes, ponds, streams, and other tributaries, while providing that certainty to our ag producers.”
The WOTUS rule designated an expanded list of waterways regulated under the Clean Water Act. The rule was challenged in the courts which led to regulatory disparities between the states. To fix this problem, Peterson was the lead Democrat on the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, a bill which required the EPA to withdraw the WOTUS rule and develop a new rule based on input from stakeholders. Peterson supported the Administration’s efforts to reexamine and withdraw WOTUS for the past several years.