Washington, D.C. – Today, with the support of Congressman Rouzer, the House passed a joint resolution with the Senate to block the “Waters of the United States” rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which expands the types of waters subject to the agencies’ rules and regulations.    

Currently, the EPA’s oversight applies to all navigable waters.  Under this proposed rule, the “Waters of the U.S.” would expand the definition of “navigable” to include smaller bodies of water and even some dry land resulting in a major overreach of federal power – essentially putting the EPA in charge of every square inch of both private and state land.

“If signed by the President, this bill would be a victory for farm families and small businesses throughout Southeastern North Carolina.  This rule would expand the EPA’s regulatory reach to practically any body of water– including water puddled in a ditch after a rain storm.  No bureaucrat in Washington should be able to dictate what our farm families, small businesses, local governments and citizens do on their property after a significant rainfall.  I’m pleased that we are putting this bill on the President’s desk to nullify this burdensome regulation.”

The waters rule, also referred to as “WOTUS,” was developed to clarify which waterways are subject to Clean Water Act requirements.  It was published in the Federal Register on June 29, 2015 and took effect 60 days later on August 28, 2015. 

On October 9, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit placed a nationwide stay on the rule.  The joint resolution passed the House today with a 253-166 vote.