BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum issued the following statement today calling on the Biden administration to withdraw its final Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, warning that the rehashed Obama-era regulations would create confusion, add red tape and lead to higher consumer prices.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the final rule in the Federal Register today. It repeals the definition of WOTUS that the Trump administration adopted in 2020 in its Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The final rule takes effect 60 days after it is published, unless legal action delays it.
“After North Dakota led the fight against the Obama administration’s misguided WOTUS rule, it’s disappointing that the Biden administration is doubling down on this overreaching policy,” Burgum said. “The EPA’s reworked version of WOTUS has the same problems as its predecessor, violating landowner rights and creating confusion for farmers, ranchers and industry by adding red tape and erroneously classifying almost every stream, pond and wetland as a federally managed water. The result will be higher costs for food, fuel and other consumer goods with no substantial benefit to the environment. North Dakota has some of the cleanest water in the nation, and this proposed rule threatens our state’s legitimate authority to protect our own waters from pollution. It’s a prime example of federal overreach that ought to be withdrawn, or at least delayed until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a decision in the Sackett v. EPA case related to Clean Water Act jurisdiction. We look forward to supporting North Dakota’s attorney general in challenging this new rule.”