U.S. Rep. Harold 'Hal' Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement in opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) final ruling that redefines Waters of the United States (WOTUS) to expand federal jurisdiction over private waterways. The rule would require that any dirt-moving activity -- from construction of roadways, to farming, to coal mining -- require additional oversight and approval by federal bureaucrats.
"Despite overwhelming opposition from the American people and Congress, the Obama Administration is plowing forward with another job-killing environmental regulation," said Rogers. "The so-called WOTUS rule constitutes an incredible power-grab by unaccountable bureaucrats and will amount to more red-tape for Kentucky farmers, small business owners and entrepreneurs. The result will be slower job growth and local economic development when communities in Eastern Kentucky are already struggling under the weight of heavy-handed EPA regulations that have shuttered power plants and sent thousands of coal miners to the unemployment line."
Rogers recently voted for two pieces of legislation to reverse and prohibit implementation of the rule before it was finalized:
- The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1732) requires the Secretary of the Army and the Administrator of the EPA to withdraw the rule within 30 days of enactment. It also holds the EPA and the U.S. Corps of Engineers accountable by requiring that when developing a new rule, the agencies must consider public comments, economic analysis, and must jointly consult with State and local officials about redefining WOTUS.
- The House Appropriations Committee's Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water Bill prohibits any changes to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and restricts the application of the Clean Water Act in certain agricultural areas, including farm ponds and irrigation ditches.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter or on Facebook.