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WOTUS Rule: Egregious Example of Obama Administration’s Regulatory Overreach

05/27/2015

Rule proves President flouted key principles of transparency, scientific integrity and accountability

Washington, DC— Karen Kerrigan, President of the Center for Regulatory Solutions, a project of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s release today of the final “Waters of the US” (WOTUS) rulemaking:

“The Waters of the US rulemaking is one of the most egregious examples of the Obama Administration’s regulatory overreach, as it could very well extend the heavy hand of the federal bureaucracy into nearly every water body in the United States, no matter how remote or insignificant.  Despite claims from the Environmental Protection Agency that it consulted with state regulators and small businesses, the rule appears to undermine the federal-state relationship enshrined in the Clean Water Act (CWA).  What’s more, EPA’s assertions that the WOTUS rule will ‘clarify’ the CWA will most certainly be proven false once implementation of the rule takes effect.

“Small businesses have long endured the federal permitting process, which is burdened by litigation, bureaucratic obstruction, delays, and petty mandates.  With WOTUS, it will likely grow more complicated, time-consuming, and prone to litigation.  The end result will be more costs and delays for small businesses and entrepreneurs who provide essential services for infrastructure development, including much-needed support for new roads, bridges, oil and natural gas wells, construction of residential and commercial properties, and much else.

“EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers failed to listen to the voices of thousands of small businesses who urged a different course for this rulemaking.  Instead, according to the New York Times, EPA trumped up bogus support for the rule using social media and lobbying schemes that may have crossed ethical and legal boundaries.

“Along with so many other examples, WOTUS clearly shows that President Obama is not serious about promoting a regulatory process based on transparency, scientific integrity and accountability.”