President Obama Backs EPA Power Grab at the Expense of Missouri Families & Farmers


WOTUS Rule Expands EPA Authority Over 99.7 Percent of Missouri

WASHINGTON – January 27, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today after President Obama vetoed legislation, cosponsored by Blunt, that would have overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s sweeping re-write of the Clean Water Act, known as the Waters of the United States rule. Under this rule, the EPA will have authority over 99.7 percent of Missouri, creating more permitting requirements for Missourians and stifling economic and job growth.

“The WOTUS rule vastly expands the federal government’s control over nearly every body of water in the United States at the expense of farmers, local officials, builders, manufacturers, and property owners,” Blunt said. “For local businesses, the WOTUS rule will mean added costs and more bureaucratic hurdles to new construction and economic development. Dozens of mayors and local officials are concerned that even routine municipal maintenance, especially on storm water structures, would now require new permits. And, Missouri farmers have told me the new rule will be ‘devastating,’ and cause ‘total gridlock.’”

In comments submitted to both the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Small Business Administration argues that the rule “will have a direct and potentially costly impact on small businesses.” According to agency, the rule will increase permitting costs by as much as $52 million and environmental mitigation costs by more than $113 million annually.

Blunt added, “With yesterday’s veto, President Obama has once again put his own political agenda ahead of hardworking families. Senate Republicans are listening to Americans’ concerns, and we’ll continue working to protect them, and their private property, from the Obama administration’s overreach.”

On November 4, 2015, Blunt voted in favor of the resolution overturning the new WOTUS rule. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 53-44. In remarks on the Senate floor earlier that day, Blunt noted the detrimental impact WOTUS will have on Missouri’s farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and families. And, at a press conference earlier that week, Blunt explained how the WOTUS rule upends the long-standing definition of navigable waters to vastly expand the EPA’s authority in Missouri, and across the United States.

On April 30, 2015, Blunt and his colleagues introduced the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. The bipartisan legislation would ensure the protection of traditional navigable waters of the United States. It would also protect farmers, ranchers and private landowners by removing isolated ponds, agriculture water, storm water, groundwater, floodwater, municipal water supply systems, wastewater management systems, and streams from the list of water impacted by the EPA’s rule. In March 2015, Blunt also co-sponsored an amendment that was added to the FY2016 Senate budget to stop the Obama administration from taking over all waters in the United States.

In June 2014, Blunt introduced the Protecting Water and Property Rights Act with U.S. Senator John Barrasso (Wyo.). That measure would have prevented the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing their March 2014 proposed rule.


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