Gibbs, Shuster Urge Action on Defunding WOTUS

November 17, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Joined by 64 colleagues from both sides of the aisle, Congressman Bob Gibbs, Chairman of the Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Congressman Bill Shuster, sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking to ensure any funding agreement for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 prevents implementation of an EPA water regulation that encroaches on states' jurisdictions and risks private property rights.

The controversial regulation, currently being challenged in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court, has been subject to criticism on not only the merits, but also how the rule was written and finalized. Last year, the New York Times reported the EPA broke the law in unlawfully promoting the proposed rule on social media.

The letter, sent to Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and leaders of the Appropriations Committee, says "This rule can potentially roll back the progress we have made in our nation’s water quality by instituting burdensome, duplicative permitting costs and unnecessary bureaucratic red tape," the letter says. "Recently, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report confirming our concerns that the WOTUS rulemaking process was “deeply flawed.”

After sending the letter to leadership, Gibbs released the following statement:

"My colleagues and I want to make sure the EPA has no wiggle room in implementing this flawed and burdensome regulation. There is a reason over thirty states and multiple advocacy groups are suing the EPA over WOTUS. It's an unworkable regulation that attempts to expand EPA's power at the expense of the states' jurisdiction. The Clean Water Act was and continues to be a compact with the states, which the EPA has recently treated like adversaries rather than partners. I thank my colleagues for continuing to join me in support of farmers, ranchers, home builders, and private property advocates."

"WOTUS is a classic example of government regulation gone wrong,” said Chairman Shuster. “It is an overly broad and poorly considered rule which will have a very real impact on businesses and families across the nation. From farmers to construction companies to homeowners and countless groups in between, this WOTUS rule will make it harder for ordinary Americans to do business and support their families. It impedes on the rights of both states and property owners, and should not be put into effect. I’m proud to join my colleagues in taking a stand for regulatory sanity, and am hopeful we can put a stop to this ‘puddle power-grab’ by the federal government."

Last week, Gibbs and Senator James Inhofe led on an amicus brief in the Sixth Circuit Court case challenging the WOTUS law.