Coalition Letter to Senate EPW on Biden Administration's WOTUS Rule
As organizations representing a broad range of sectors from agriculture, energy, transportation infrastructure, construction and real estate, manufacturing, mining, recreation, chemical production, specialty pesticides, and many other job creators, we are incredibly invested in the scope of the 2023 “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) regulatory definition. During a hearing before your committee last week entitled, “Implementing IIJA: Perspectives on The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act,” there was discussion between members of the committee and Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox regarding the scope of this rule. We respectfully disagree with several comments made by Assistant Administrator Fox on the 2023 rule, especially her characterization of the rule as a narrower definition compared to the pre-2015 regulations, and we feel these comments merit a strong response. We have carefully reviewed the extensive preamble and regulatory text and offer the below information, which illustrates some of the areas where the new rule will expand jurisdiction compared to the pre-2015 regulations and 2008 post-Rapanos Guidance. While some of these changes were downplayed as subtle changes by Assistant Administrator Fox, they will unmistakably have significant ramifications for the industries listed above in every state.