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Friday, August 28, 2015

Thompson: WOTUS Rule Will Cause Great Harm to Pennsylvania Economy

Court Exempts 13 States From Rule; 
Rule Takes Effect Today In Pennsylvania

Washington, DC – Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) today applauded a federal court decision to block a proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory action, entitled the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), which seeks to drastically expand the federal jurisdiction over state waters.

Thursday’s injunction only applies to states that filed suit against the EPA until the resolution of those cases. Pennsylvania had not filed suit against the EPA, meaning the new rule took effect as scheduled today. Thompson issued the following statement on Friday:

“On Thursday afternoon, a federal court ruled against the overreach of the EPA and prevented the harmful Waters of the United States rule from taking effect in 13 states. Despite continued bipartisan concerns from legislators and stakeholders, Pennsylvania was not part of the suit and the rule took effect today. I have long said it represents a real threat to the Commonwealth’s economy. It also jeopardizes years of success under the Clean Water Act, which until now, has only applied to navigable waters.

“Under WOTUS, a wide range of activities which drive economic development will now be subject to federal permitting, including infrastructure projects, farming, flood control and energy production.

“Specifically, the rule would turn ditches into ‘tributaries.’ Routine maintenance activities in ditches, on-site ponds and impoundments could lead to permits which can cost companies more than $100,000. Furthermore, the rule could trigger additional environmental reviews which could extend projects for years, with added costs to landowners and businesses.

“So, while I applaud the North Dakota court’s decision, I continue to urge the EPA to go back to the drawing board to fix the fundamental flaws with this rule. This court decision emphasizes a fairer, and more calculated approach is needed.”

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