Burgum issues statement on move by EPA, Army to rescind ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 1:30pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Army and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposing a rule to rescind the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule.

“Clean water is critical to quality of life and our economy, and no one cares more about clean water in North Dakota than the people who live here. Today’s action is a welcome step toward a rule recognizing that states are best positioned to protect, manage and regulate their own waters,” Burgum said. “The Obama administration’s WOTUS rule was a particularly egregious example of regulatory overreach that effectively classified almost every pond, pothole and slough as a federal managed waterway, creating confusion and uncertainty for farmers, ranchers, landowners and local governments. We are encouraged that the EPA and Corps of Engineers have been reaching out to governors early in this renewed rulemaking process, and we hope such consultation will continue and culminate in a rule that respects states’ authority and unique role in protecting their water resources. We are grateful to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for his leadership on this issue.”

In July 2015, North Dakota spearheaded a lawsuit filed with a dozen other states against the EPA and Corps of Engineers over the WOTUS rule. The rule was blocked when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a nationwide stay in October 2015. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Feb. 28 to begin the process of rescinding or revising the WOTUS rule.