Trump Heeds Daines Calls: Starts Process to Reverse WOTUS

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement on President Donald J. Trump’s executive actions to revise former President Barack Obama’s overreaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule.

The overreaching WOTUS rule seeks to regulate virtually every ditch and pond that may be occasionally wet across the United States and would have a significant negative impact on farmers, ranchers, and landowners across the country. 

“We can protect Montana’s pristine water without harming our agriculture economy and violating Montanans’ private property rights,” Daines stated. “I’m thrilled President Trump has heeded my call to halt this disastrous Obama-era policy and that we are allowing Montanans to manage the land they know best.” 

Montana Farm Bureau’s Director of National Affairs Nicole Rolf: “The Montana Farm Bureau remains strongly opposed to the EPA’s WOTUS rule because it extends federal jurisdiction to most water, and even land in Montana and the rest of the U.S.  We appreciate all the work Senator Daines did to help block implementation of the EPA’s overreaching and harmful WOTUS rule. Despite the impassioned outcry of opposition from the states, the EPA pushed forward with their expansive, extremely detrimental new regulations so we are thankful to hear that President Trump has taken action to require the agencies to revamp the rule.  We hope that any replacement will take into consideration the concerns of Montana’s farmers, ranchers and others who safely utilize our resources to provide food, fiber, and other products and economic activity to our country.”

Montana Stockgrowers Association President Bryan Mussard: “The Montana Stockgrowers Association thanks Senator Daines for his ongoing efforts to stop the final WOTUS rule, and President Trump’s executive order is a great step in the right direction. This rule is an unwise and unwarranted expansion of EPA’s regulatory authority over Montana’s waters, and would have a significant detrimental impact on Montana’s ranchers.” 

Montana Grain Growers Association President Tom Butcher: “EPA’s Waters of the United States rule would give the federal government authority to regulate waters not previously subject to regulation, including those in the prairie pothole regions of Montana. MGGA applauds the effort to overhaul this burdensome rule that will negatively affect our grain producers.” 

Dave McEwen – Galata – President of the Montana Wool Growers Association: “The Montana Wool Growers Association welcomes the news that the Trump Administration has begun the process of withdrawing the Waters of the United States Rule.  The Montana Wool Growers Association membership has opposed this intrusive initiative since it was first promulgated and feels the rulemaking was driven more by desires outcomes than sound science. The proposed rule was and is an unconstitutional jurisdictional overreach by federal agencies, and intrudes into regulatory areas better left to state agencies.”    

Montana Chamber President and CEO Webb Brown: “The Montana Chamber of Commerce thanks Sen. Daines for his efforts to stop WOTUS from being implemented and appreciates President Trump’s executive order calling for it to be significantly revised. If this rule stands, there will be tremendous cost to our states, our economies, and our employers and their employees’ families. Under this unprecedented extension of federal power, land and water use decisions will be made in Washington, D.C., far from the affected local communities. Our business, industry, and community members take seriously their collective responsibilities to wisely use and manage water within their jurisdictions.”  

Daines has long been working to protect Montana farmers, ranchers, landowners and private property rights from the overreaching WOTUS rule.

On December 6, 2016, Daines wrote to President Trump urging him to revise the WOTUS rule. 

On June 16, 2016, the Senate Committee on Appropriations passed the bipartisan FY2017 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill which prohibits the implementation of the Waters of the United States rule.

On June 14, 2016, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, of which Daines is a member, approved a bill that would prohibit the WOTUS rule.

On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that property owners could file suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the agency’s determination that their land contains “waters of the United States” covered by the Clean Water Act, which provides criminal and civil liabilities for violations. 

On April 21, 2016, Daines voted for U.S. Senator John Hoeven’s (R-ND) bipartisan amendment (#3811) to the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that would have blocked the WOTUS rule. 

On January 21, 2016, Daines released a statement after the U.S. Senate failed to gain enough votes to override President Obama’s veto of S.J.Res 22.

On January 19, 2016, President Obama chose to defend his failed policies over protecting Montanans’ livelihoods by vetoing Congressional efforts to repeal Obama’s overreaching new WOTUS rule.

On January 13, 2016, Daines applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of S.J.Res.22, a joint resolution Daines helped introduced to disapprove of the EPA’s new, overreaching WOTUS rules.

On November 24, 2015, Daines highlighted the how WOTUS will give the federal government “unprecedented power to regulate irrigated ditches, prairie potholes and other small bodies of water that may be temporary or seasonal” in a statewide editorial. 

On November 4, 2015, Daines appeared on Stuart Varney’s on FOX Business to stand up for the rights of landowners, ranchers and farmers across the country. 

On November 4, 2015, Daines applauded the bipartisan Senate passage of legislation nullifying the EPA’s greatly expanded WOTUS rule and reaffirmed his commitment to stopping the Obama administration’s overreach through any means possible.  

On November 3, 2015, Daines took to the Senate floor to underscore his commitment to stopping WOTUS.

On November 3, 2015, the Senate failed to advance S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act that would direct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised WOTUS rule that protects traditional navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners. Daines is a cosponsor of S. 1140. 

On October 9, 2015, Daines applauded the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision to issue a nationwide stay on EPA’s misguided WOTUS rule. 

On October 26, 2015, Daines introduces The Regulatory Authority Clarification Act that provides another tool to restrict and define agencies’ broad rulemaking ability that has the ability to harm Montanans, like the recently published so-called Clean Power Plan and WOTUS.

On September 17, 2015, Daines along with 46 U.S. Senate co-sponsors introduced a joint resolution disapproving the EPA’s greatly expanded WOTUS rule, which directly threatens Montana agriculture and energy production, Montanans’ property rights and Montana jobs.

On August 27, 2015, Daines released a statement after a federal district court blocked the EPA from implementing its new regulation broadly expanding the definition of WOTUS.

 On June 29, 2015, EPA published the WOTUS rule in the Federal Register. The rule was set to become effective on 8/28/15.

On June, 29, 2015, Daines released a statement on Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and 12 other states’ lawsuit against the EPA and the Corps over the new regulation broadly expanding the definition of WOTUS.

On June 2, 2015, Daines co-sponsored S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, that would direct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised WOTUS rule that protects traditional navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.  

On May, 27, 2015, President Obama announced his overreaching WOTUS rule, upon release Daines slammed the newly released EPA’s WOTUS rule as “this new rule has the potential to cripple Montana’s agriculture and natural resources industries, hurt Montana jobs and threaten Montanans’ property rights.” 

On November 13, 2014, Congressman Daines requested a 9-day comment period extension for the EPA and Corps to revision to the Clean Water Act definition of WOTUS.

On September 9, 2014, Congressman Steve Daines received a letter from the Montana Agricultural Business Association, Montana Building Industry Association, Montana Chamber of Commerce, Montana Coal Council, Montana Contractors Association, Montana Contractors Association, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Grain Growers Association, Montana Petroleum Association, Montana Association of REALTORS, Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Water Resources Association, Montana Growers Association, and the Treasure State Resource Industry Association voicing their serious concerns with the rule.

On September 9, 2014, Congressman Daines joined a bipartisan majority in House of Representatives in passing the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078). This legislation protects Montana electrical cooperatives and the agriculture industry from the EPA’s federal regulatory overreach that would hinder economic growth and threaten property rights. Daines release is available here.

On April 21, 2014, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed a rule to define WOTUS under the Clean Water Act.