Thune Statement on Bill to Overturn Far-Reaching WOTUS Rule

“This rule … extends the reach of the federal government to the ponds, ditches, and streams in Americans’ backyards.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after a majority of Senate Democrats blocked the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140), legislation which would overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:

“The Obama EPA’s WOTUS rule -- one of the largest federal land grabs in history – is yet another example of this administration’s fondness for regulatory overreach. This rule threatens more fines and increased costs for farmers, ranchers, and landowners in every corner of my state and extends the reach of the federal government to the ponds, ditches, and streams in Americans’ backyards. Unfortunately, a majority of Senate Democrats blocked an opportunity to stop this rule, but my colleagues and I will continue to fight to overturn this massive overstep.”

Thune is a co-sponsor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. This bipartisan bill would direct the EPA to scrap its current proposal and ensure future proposals do not include ponds, ditches, agriculture water, storm water, and certain other areas not typically regulated under the federal Clean Water Act.

The WOTUS rule has proved problematic across the country. Already, 31 states have filed lawsuits against the WOTUS rule. An October decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals extended to all 50 states an earlier injunction from a federal district court that blocked implementation in 13 states, including South Dakota. 

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