"It's about time this abuse-prone agency listened to Congress and backtrack on a rule that was clearly an egregious power grab to garnish private citizens' wages," said Vitter. "EPA cannot even effectively manage their own personnel, so it's outrageous that they would even consider expanding their authority."
The EPA circumvented the traditional rulemaking process by assuming authority to garner wages through a "direct final rule" that was quietly published just two days before the July 4th holiday.
EPA's decision to withdraw the controversial rule follows a letter from Sens. Vitter, Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on July 10th, in which they formally requested the agency withdraw its rule on administrative wage garnishment. In their comments they noted the case of a private landowner in Wyoming who received an EPA compliance order with terms threatening fines of up to $187,500 per day for building a pond on his property. The Senators also noted the case of a West Virginia poultry farmer whom EPA threatened with civil penalties of up to $37,500 per day because stormwater, which had flowed across her property, ended up in a "water of the United States."