Republican efforts to repeal the wide Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, which they claim has a detrimental effect on landowners, are intensifying.
The Clean Water Act, a legislation that establishes borders and demands permits for pollutant discharge into protected water, determines what “waters of the United States” are federally protected under the regulation, which is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Protected areas were reduced under the Trump administration’s 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, but the Biden administration’s WOTUS definition, which was released on December 30, increased the coverage. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration over its WOTUS definition in late January, and nearly 150 members of Congress introduced a resolution opposing it last week.
Yesterday, @TransportGOP's Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee held a hearing on the Biden administration's flawed and burdensome WOTUS rule.— Rep. Derrick Van Orden Press Office (@RepVanOrden) February 9, 2023
Biden's war on rural America is destroying family farms.
Watch Rep. Van Orden's full questioning ➡️ https://t.co/3JdTVzu6ry pic.twitter.com/XKExwwD1wR
After filing the initial lawsuit on January 18, Paxton on Friday filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the WOTUS rule’s implementation, claiming that the EPA had exceeded the authority granted to it by Congress to solely control “navigable waters.”
“The environmental extremists who wrote this unlawful rule have no interest in respecting our sovereignty or our natural resources. For this Administration, this isn’t about environmental protection—it’s about federal control over states like Texas, and we aren’t going to allow it.”
The revised definition will become effective if nothing is done on March 20, 2023. The key point is the Biden EPA’s WOTUS, which broadens the definition of “navigable waters” or “waters of the United States” to include tributaries, impoundments, and nearby wetlands.
The plaintiffs in Sackett are suing because the EPA informed them they couldn’t build a house on property they own next to Priest Lake, Idaho, because it contains wetlands. The Pacific Legal Foundation claims that they have fought the EPA for 15 years. If wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act and are subject to EPA control will be made clear by the Sackett court’s ruling.