February 28, 2017


Business Community Pleased to See “Federal Land Grab” Reconsidered

WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Environment, Technology, & Regulatory Affairs William Kovacs issued the following statement today after President Trump signed an executive order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to reconsider a 2015 regulation often referred to as the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule:

“The 2015 Waters of the United States rule was essentially a federal land grab. America’s businesses, farmers, and other land owners and managers will be happy to see it reconsidered and properly withdrawn under President Trump.

“The rule would have given the EPA and the Corps unprecedented permitting and enforcement authority over land use decisions that Congress did not authorize. To add insult to injury, the two agencies refused to properly assess the economic harm the rule would cause, despite the objections of Congress, States, businesses—even other federal agencies.

“We know that economic growth and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive goals. To achieve both, government must create a regulatory climate that is clear, certain, and transparent so business is confident to invest, innovate, and create jobs. If regulatory reform legislation like the Regulatory Accountability Act becomes law, poorly written rules like WOTUS would be subject to greater analysis and transparency. We urge the U.S. Senate to take action to make regulatory reform a reality this year.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce — in addition to numerous other business associations and at least thirty states — filed lawsuits against the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking to set aside the WOTUS regulation. To read the U.S. Chamber’s legal position on the rule, please click here for the case in the Tenth Circuit. And click here for the case in the Sixth Circuit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court put a nationwide hold on the regulation on October 9, 2015.