Senate Bill Calls for WOTUS Re-do

Cindy ZimmermanAudio, environment, Government, Regulation, water

wotus-senateA bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced a bill Thursday that calls on EPA to develop a new “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) proposal.

The senators, including John Barrasso (R-WY), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), jointly introduced the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, directing EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised WOTUS rule that “does not include things such as isolated ponds, ditches, agriculture water, storm water, groundwater, floodwater, municipal water supply systems, wastewater management systems, and streams without enough flow to carry pollutants to navigable waters.”

“After working together for months, we’ve introduced a strong bipartisan bill that will protect America’s waterways – and America’s farmers, ranchers and landowners. Our legislation gives the EPA the direction it needs to write a reasonable rule that will truly protect our ‘navigable’ waterways,” said Barrasso.

“No one wants cleaner water or better land conditions than the families who live on American farms,” said Donnelly. “That is why it is incredibly important that the EPA rewrite the Waters of the United States rule with input from the people who live and work on the land and alongside these waters every day.”

The bill will be referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works . Similar legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio.

Agriculture groups are already responding positively to the move urging Congress to act swiftly, before the rule is final, so agencies can re-craft the rule to ensure it is practical and addresses the concerns of farmers, ranchers and business owners across the country.

Audio of press conference: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Senators introduce bill to revise WOTUS”]