WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC) released the following statement applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army) proposed “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) definition that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.
“The proposed WOTUS definition is welcome news in the Seventh District. President Obama’s regulatory-happy EPA expanded the federal government’s regulatory authority from “main waterways” to all bodies of water including streams, ditches, ponds, and private property. This power grab subjected South Carolina farmers, landowners, and small business owners to bureaucratic rules, onerous regulations, and costly requirements. At the time, I heard from many concerned Seventh District landowners whose fears turned into reality across the country. Farmers were no longer able to plow their own land or became tied up in jurisdiction disputes that took years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to resolve - it was the predictable result of such a massive government overreach” said Congressman Rice. “The straightforward approach suggested by the Trump Administration will provide much needed certainty, return authority to state and local entities, and promote responsible management of our nation’s water and land in accordance with the Clean Water Act. It will empower hardworking people in the Seventh District to grow, build, and invest in our community.”