U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement today to drop their draft guidance to define "waters of the United States," as well as their plans to conduct a rulemaking regarding Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction and to solicit public comment on a draft water "connectivity" report. Vitter previously cautioned that EPA's draft guidance would expand the Agency's regulatory authority well beyond their statutory jurisdiction.

"EPA's announcement today doesn't solve anything, but merely takes another road to potentially expand its own jurisdiction through the Clean Water Act," said Vitter. "While EPA seemingly noticed the American people's opposition to its earlier guidance to define ‘waters of the United States,' I'm afraid they are moving forward with the same expensive regulations and requirements in mind."

Earlier this year, Sens. Vitter and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) led a group of 30 Senators in urging the Administration to withdraw draft guidance to define "waters of the United States" under the CWA. Click here to read more.

The release of EPA's draft report entitled, "Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters," accompanied EPA's announcement that it would withdraw the guidance and could potentially be used in an attempt to justify expansive rulemaking.