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Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) joined President Donald Trump at the White House this afternoon for the signing of an executive order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers to go back to the drawing board on the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS.
When the Obama administration finalized WOTUS in 2015, Smith introduced the House resolution to block the rule using the Congressional Review Act, or CRA. The Senate version of the resolution passed both chambers of Congress but was vetoed by President Obama.
“Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are committed stewards of our natural resources and take many steps to keep our water sources clean,” Smith said. “You can’t tell me a bureaucrat in Washington can do a better job ensuring water quality than those who use and benefit from our water every day.
“WOTUS is a dangerous overreach, giving the EPA the power to dictate local land use decisions and farming practices nationwide. Since the rule’s introduction, Nebraskans have expressed deep concerns about federal agencies having control over the water puddles and irrigation ditches on their properties. Local officials have told me about infrastructure projects, such as cleaning and widening a drainage ditch, which have been needlessly delayed due to WOTUS red tape.
“The Obama administration refused to listen to the concerns of agriculture producers. I’m glad President Trump is listening. His order to reset WOTUS is a victory not only for farmers and ranchers but for all Americans eager for regulatory relief.”
Smith is the founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus.