Congressman Doug LaMalfa responded to the Biden Administration’s new Waters of the United States rule that was finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Rural America doesn’t need yet another rule giving the federal government more power over farming and private property,” LaMalfa said. “The federal government shouldn’t have jurisdiction to regulate puddles, ditches, seasonal creeks or culverts. All this rule does it make it more difficult to grow food or build anything. That seems to be the whole point – to make every-day Americans ask permission from their government for basic tasks like cleaning a ditch, repairing a road or building something on your own property. I will be leading an effort to stop yet another ridiculous rule.”
Under the Obama Administration, the EPA finalized an updated rule that significantly expanded the definition of WOTUS and the EPA’s regulatory authority far beyond the limits originally set in place by Congress. This 2015 rule was nothing short of a land and water grab that gave bureaucrats the ability to meddle in intermittent and ephemeral streams – such as the kind used for drainage and irrigation – to harass farmers for plowing fields they historically grew crops on. Under this rule, the EPA could fine farmers thousands of dollars if they simply rotated from one crop to another on their own land without first gaining permission that could take years to receive from Washington bureaucrats.
That rule was immediately challenged in court and was withdrawn through a 2017 executive order by President Trump. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration and their “green new deal” agenda was determined to bring back the overreaching rule for good, and with it, uncertainty that will make it more difficult for American farmers to produce the food we eat, home builders to make new family homes and to produce cheap and abundant American energy. This rule doesn’t just affect farming but every potential land use in the country. This will have devastating impacts on the farms and towns that are critical to the health of our rural economies.