WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement on the administration’s announcement of the proposed withdrawal of the fundamentally flawed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“The WOTUS rule would have put backyard ponds, puddles, and prairie pot holes under Washington’s control,” said Barrasso. “I applaud the Trump administration for working to remove this indefensible regulation. I will continue to work closely with the administration as it seeks commonsense ways to keep America’s water clean and safe.”

Last month, the EPW committee held an oversight hearing titled “A Review of the Technical, Scientific, and Legal Basis of the WOTUS Rule.” At the hearing, Chairman Barrasso called for the withdrawal of the fundamentally flawed rule. Witnesses testified that the WOTUS rule is not supported by:

  • Army Corps of Engineers experience and expertise;
  • scientific studies; or
  • the law.

Background Information

On April 30, 2015, Barrasso, along with Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), led a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140).

Barrasso’s bill directed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised WOTUS rule that protects navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.

On Feb. 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to revise the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ WOTUS rule. Barrasso attended the order’s signing ceremony at the White House.

On May 3, 2017, the EPA began the regular inter-agency review process by delivering to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a draft rule to withdraw the WOTUS rule.