Statement of Senator Craig Thomas
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water
Oversight hearing on the implementation of the Clean Water Act
September 16, 2003
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding today's hearing. I appreciate your commitment in allowing this Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act, the opportunity to discuss the implementation of that law particularly the rule on Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).
Mr. Chairman, I’ve sat behind this dais many times and rarely had the opportunity or reason to applaud EPA especially thinking back to the 2000 rule on TMDL’s (that has since been repealed). But with respect to TMDL’s and the existing rule, EPA has been helpful to my state of Wyoming. The national TMDL coordinator has worked with my state to achieve success through the local watershed process. Wyoming has been using a local approach to address our impaired waters rather than a top down approach. When EPA Region 8 was sued over Wyoming’s alleged failure to comply with the TMDL program, the State prevailed.
The local approach is working. It is my hope the new rule will embrace this sort of an approach and allow other flexibilities to get the job done. If the end result is the same, I should not think a one size fits all approach should matter. We have seen more than once that what works in one region in the country does not necessarily work in the other. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to hearing from the witnesses.