U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, along with Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), and Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), sent a letter to Nancy Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting clarification of the purpose behind the Agency's compliance order for a private landowner in Wyoming, threatening penalties calculated to reach an estimated $187,500 per day.

"In one month's time, the Wyoming landowner could be liable for more than $5.5 million in penalties. Given the Agency's announcement last week to expand the jurisdictional limits of the Clean Water Act, EPA could easily use the proposed rule to bankrupt small landowners for something as simple as building a pond or ditch anywhere near a wetland or stream," wrote the Members. "We fear now that our original penalties assessment may have been quite conservative, and that the proposed rule will only enhance the ability of EPA and its environmental allies to subject landowners to endless and costly litigation."

Last week, EPA announced the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rulemaking, which could significantly expand federal authority over streams, ditches, ponds, and other local waterbodies - many of which are located on private property throughout the U.S. Click here to read more. Prior to the EPA's rulemaking, Sens. Vitter, Barrasso, and Enzi sent a letter stating their concerns with EPA's Region 8 administrative compliance order for a Wyoming landowner, foreshadowing what could happen to private landowners across the country. Today's letter follows up on the Senators' March 12, 2014 request. Click here to read more.

Click here to read today's letter.