A pruitt

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the direction of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, announced its decision to rescind the costly and burdensome Obama-era “Waters of the United States Rule” commnonly referred to as WOTUS. 

Americans for Tax Reform applauds EPA Administrator Pruitt and his agency for the leadership shown in taking steps to protect the property rights of American landowners and businesses by addressing the federal overreach inherent in WOTUS. 

Speaking on the proposed rescisicion, Administrator Pruitt this week said the EPA is “taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmer’s and businesses.” 

The rule proposed by former President Obama would have drastically expanded the EPA’s jurisdiction, making small waterways such as wetlands and ponds subject to increased federal rules and permitting processes. According to the Obama EPA’s own projections, the increased permitting burden under WOTUS could have cost American property owners and small businesses between $158 million and $465 million annually.    

In 2015 then Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt, joined by 17 other states, successfully led a challenge to block implemnetation of WOTUS. Speaking at the time on the Sixth Circuirt Court of Appeal’s decision, Pruitt stated that WOTUS is a “devastating blow to private property rights and is an unlawful power grab by the EPA over virtually all bodies of water in the United States.” 

Now with Pruitt leading the EPA, the agency is able to roll back this harmful rule. The new rule proposed by Pruitt’s EPA would rescind WOTUS and provide certainty in the interim pending a second rulemaking which the EPA, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, could engage in a substantive re-evaluation of the rule.


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore