As the Biden Administration continues its efforts to re-write the previous administration’s commonsense Navigable Waters Protection Rule, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) pressed Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water, for answers. At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, Ernst expressed concern for a potential return to the harmful policies seen under the Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule.
Ernst asked Administrator Fox to confirm the EPA’s promise to not remove exemptions for prior converted croplands in the administration’s upcoming rule. The senator also requested EPA to provide documented evidence of actual environmental damage or harm that was caused by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
Earlier this year, Ernst led a Senate resolution that expresses the need for the U.S. Senate to stand with farmers, ranchers, and other important stakeholders by supporting the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule, which replaced the Obama-era WOTUS rule.
In June, following a report that the Biden Administration is looking to roll back the previous administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, Ernst called the decision a “gut punch” to Iowans while reaffirming her commitment to stand up to onerous regulations the administration may seek to impose on hardworking Iowans.
Ernst and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in introducing the Define WOTUS Act, a bill to legislatively define the “waters of the United States,” (WOTUS) and make a reasonable, workable definition of the term permanent.