WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, along with 20 other senators and 67 representatives filed an amicus brief urging the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to nullify an Obama Administration effort to broadly expand federal regulation of land and water in the United States.  The plan, commonly known as the “Waters of the United States” rule or WOTUS, would define 97 percent of the land in Iowa as a waterway, subjecting it to new federal regulations, such as permitting requirements.

“We all value clean water, and Congress has passed legislation to prevent pollution of our waterways.  But the EPA’s plan would take that law far beyond what Congress even intended by regulating vast acres of dry land and usurping authority that Congress specifically left for the states.  The result would be new federal permit costs and penalties for families, farmers and businesses, for activities on dry land nowhere near an actual body of water. Thirty-one states have pressed the courts to stop this massive power grab and allow the states to implement the Clean Water Act as Congress intended.  We are calling on the court to recognize the states’ concerns, the widespread negative impact the rule would have and the specific limitations of the law set by Congress,” Grassley said.

The bicameral amicus brief is in support of challenges filed by 31 states and 57 municipal and industry petitioners seeking to overturn EPA’s final WOTUS rule, which expands the definition of “waters of the United States” for the purposes of enforcing the Clean Water Act. The amicus brief can be found here.