WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement today finalizing a rule to delay the applicability date of the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule for two years while the agency permanently reconsiders the Obama-era regulation. 

“This action by Administrator Pruitt provides certainty for farmers and businesses in the short term while the agency works to provide a permanent rollback of an ill-conceived regulation. The WOTUS rule and drafting process were flawed from the start. The Obama administration ignored serious concerns about the damage this overly broad rule could have caused. Today’s move by the Trump administration is welcome news. This overreaching rule would have defined 97 percent of Iowa land as a waterway, which is as ridiculous as it sounds. As just one example, if WOTUS were ever implemented, family farmers and other small business owners could have to gain permission from Washington bureaucrats to move soil on dry land. That’s not a serious approach to making our waterways cleaner. I’ll continue to watch this issue closely and encourage EPA to explore more legitimate ways to improve water quality.”

Grassley has long spoken out against WOTUS and voted to defund the flawed rule. Grassley and members of the Iowa congressional delegation urged then-President-elect Trump to scrap the rule and praised EPA in July of last year for taking action to withdraw the rule.