Editorial: WOTUS rule

Repeal of overly burdensome rule welcomed

Another harmful Obama-era rule has been eliminated by the Trump administration. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has repealed the Waters of the United States rule, a flawed job-killing measure that threatened farmers, miners and small businesses across the state and nation.

This overly burdensome rule would have expanded the EPA’s authority over all the waters of the U.S., including dry branches and wet spots in one’s own yard or farm as small as a puddle, even if water only exists there during a downpour or in the wettest part of the year, according to lawmakers.

The flawed measure was another outrageous example of federal overreach by the Obama administration. Area lawmakers are correctly applauding its repeal.

“The Trump administration has halted one of the most damaging, job-killing rules from the Obama era,” U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., said. “This rule represents the Obama administration’s legacy in West Virginia – more government overreach and fewer jobs. This rule threatened the jobs of farmers, miners and small businesses in West Virginia and across the nation.”

“Administrator Pruitt and the EPA’s decision to roll back this flawed rule is the right move, and one that will protect so many jobs in West Virginia and throughout the country.” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., added. “The harmful WOTUS rule places unfair burdens on our farmers, small businesses and energy producers. Not only would this rule lead to sky rocketing energy prices, but it hinders job growth in West Virginia.”

“I’m happy to see these agencies moving forward with re-evaluating this rule which was overly burdensome to a huge number of economic activities in West Virginia, including highway and road construction, pipeline projects, transmission line projects, farming, flood control measures, housing construction and public works projects,” U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said. “We all want to drink clean water and breathe clean air, but we can achieve this without regulating hard-working West Virginians and Americans out of business. As issued, the rule represented broad agency overreach.”

“As previously defined under WOTUS by the EPA, an exceptional burden would have been placed on American farmers, businesses, and landowners,” U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-W.Va., added. “I am glad that the EPA will take the initiative to rework these regulations, instead of continuing to fight against lawsuits the EPA stood a good chance of losing. I encourage the EPA to clarify regulations that keep our water clean, without an illogical, illegal, and job-killing expansion of federal bureaucratic power.”

We agree. And we welcome the ongoing efforts by the Trump administration to roll back these job-killing rules.

Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph