Graves praises new final rule on federally regulated waters across U.S.

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) applauded a final rule issued this week by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army defining the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act.

“The president has kept his commitment to farmers, small business owners and communities in north Missouri and across the country by replacing the excessive and burdensome Obama-era Waters of the United States rule,” said Rep. Graves, ranking member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule respects the rights of states and individuals.”

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule is the second step in a comprehensive, two-step process intended to review and revise the definition of the so-called “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, consistent with President Donald Trump’s February 2017 Executive Order, according to the final rule published in the April 21 Federal Register.

The final rule implements the overall objective of the Clean Water Act to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation’s waters by maintaining federal authority over those waters, which Congress determined should be regulated by the federal government, according to the Federal Register.

“It couldn’t come at a better time,” Rep. Graves said. “While state and local governments and businesses across the country struggle from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, what we need is more certainty and less burdensome regulations from Washington.”

The previously repealed WOTUS rule would have expanded the Clean Water Act and reduced state and local decision-making regarding waters and land use, according to Rep. Graves’ office.

The new rule takes effect on June 22, according to the Federal Register.