Washington, D.C. – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati halted the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States regulation. Judges on the panel issued an order granting states' request to stay the WOTUS rule while the court considers its legality.
Chairman Smith: “Today’s ruling is a win for America’s farmers, landowners and small businesses. The court has recognized what we have long known. The EPA is out-of-control. The Waters of the U.S. rule would negatively impact states and local communities. It would allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States, including private and public lakes, ponds and streams. This far-reaching rule was not based on sound science and I applaud the court for recognizing its deficiencies.”
Smith has sent several letters to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy questioning the agency's rushed process and lack of transparency in pushing the WOTUS rule on the American people. More than 30 governors and state legislators across the country have also voiced their concerns about the threats to freedom and opportunity posed by this regulatory overreach. Smith also sent a letter questioning claims by the Administrator about the scientific foundation for the WOTUS rule.
Smith voted in favor of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which requires the EPA to withdraw the rule and seek out adequate stakeholder input before proposing a new rule.
Last summer, the Science Committee investigated the EPA's creation of detailed maps showing waters and wetlands for all 50 states. The maps, which were created in 2013 shortly after EPA proposed its Waters of the US rule, had never been made public.
Although the EPA has claimed the maps were not used to regulate, the agency has failed to explain why the agency used taxpayer money to create them in the first place. Serious questions remain regarding the EPA's underlying motivations for creating such highly detailed maps.