Western Caucuses ask EPA to stop waters rule

Western Caucuses, including Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. are asking the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to stop moving forward with the agency’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule.

The rule would significantly expand federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.

The action would have a negative impact on farms, small businesses, energy production, and commercial development across North Dakota and other Western states, according to information from Hoeven’s office.

“We’re working with other states to make the case that our farmers and ranchers understand our land better than the federal government and know how to manage it responsibly,” said Hoeven on Friday. “The proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule is another burdensome and unnecessary federal regulation that would hinder North Dakota farmers, ranchers and businesses.”

Two House committees of which Cramer is a member will examine the new rule in oversight hearings. Cramer is also working to insert language into the Department of the Interior appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015 to prevent the rule from moving forward.

Forty-seven senators and representatives signed the letter to the EPA administrator.