Written by Tyler R. Etter
On August 28, 2015, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, released a statement regarding the recent preliminary injunction granted against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) implementation of the “Waters of the United States Rule” (WOTUS) in 13 states.
In his statement, Chairman Conaway called WOTUS a “disastrous rule”, and that he has expressed concern for the current administration’s “complete disregard for rural America.” He stated that WOTUS is a “gross overreach that punishes the very people it was intended to help.” He further stated that the House committee will continue to work to stop the implementation of the rule and to protect the rights of producers.
This is not the first time Chairman Conaway has commented on the rule. In May of 2015, he and Subcommittee Chairman Glenn Thompson (R-PA) of the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee released a joint statement on the rule. They challenged the process of the creation of the rule claiming that it ignored American farmers and ranchers’ concerns. They also stated that the assurance of greater clarity was hollow comfort for those that would face steep fines for any violations.
The injunction was granted by North Dakota District Court Judge Ralph Erikson. The implementation of the rules is now halted in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.