In response to a federal appeals court’s decision to postpone enactment of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Waters of the United States” law, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released a statement today from Washington, D.C.
“Even the federal courts agree that EPA’s justification for the flawed ‘Waters of the United States’ rule may not hold water,” Flake said. “The court’s decision to halt the rule is both a promising development in the ongoing effort to stop EPA overreach and a big win for Arizona’s landowners, businesses and economy.”
When the WOTUS bill was first introduced in May 2014, Flake, along with U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, concerned that the rule would adversely impact landowners, businesses and the economy of Arizona.
The senators followed up with a second letter in Nov. 2014 reiterating their request, citing insufficient evidence to categorize all features as jurisdictional waters and arguing for clearer language defining criteria for bodies of water that would fall under the EPA’s authority.
And in May of this year, Flake, McCain and U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced S. 1178, the Defending Rivers from Overreaching Policies (DROP) Act, directing EPA to halt the implementation of WOTUS and address flawed methodology, pressing the EPA to ditch the rule in favor of more consistent and meaningful legislation.
As it is currently written, the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule could expand the agency’s ability to regulate Arizona’s desert washes and man-made canals as well as navigable and interstate waters.
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