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Harris Critical of Biden Re-establishing WOTUS Rule

June 11, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC: Congressman Andy Harris, M.D., issued the following statement after the Biden Administration, led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced formal plans to again redefine the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act:

“With this move, President Biden is foolishly revisiting controversial regulations that were widely criticized as overly broad and burdensome and not in line with Congressional intent under established law.  President Trump took the right course of action by balancing protection of our environment with the rights of landowners – particularly farmers – so that they could continue the critical work of feeding our nation.  The threat of constant litigation or other EPA assaults on farmland under a Biden WOTUS rule will only further drive up the costs of consumer food staples which are already skyrocketing due to out of control inflation from liberal policy actions.”

Congressman Harris had previously criticized WOTUS during the Obama Administration, where the EPA changed their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act to expand federal jurisdiction from navigable waters to include wetlands, farm watering ponds, and roadside and farm ditches that contain water only in response to rainfall.  Under President Trump, a more traditional definition of WOTUS was restored, clarifying that federal regulation only supersedes state regulation of navigable waters, tributaries to those waters, certain lakes, and wetlands adjacent to navigable waters.  Additionally, Congressman Harris is a co-sponsor of H.Res.318, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the Trump era WOTUS rule should not be withdrawn.