Woe is WOTUS.
The beleaguered Waters of the United States policy received another political rebuke as Republicans, four Democrats and one Independent in the Senate voted 53-43 to overturn the Biden administration rule.
The rule defines what American waters are subject to federal jurisdiction. The Biden iteration of the rule has been flagged by many legislators as government overreach.
“WOTUS is like a vampire that just won’t die,” Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, told RFD-TV. “We thought we had this buried under President Trump’s administration, we had some rules we could work with, but the Biden administration has brought it back to life now.”
Marshall added that the rule could have significant costs for American farmers and is not well defined.
“I’m a fifth-generation farm kid, I remember my grandfather’s building terraces and now the U.S. government wants to regulate the water running off those terraces, let alone the dry creeks, the puddles, the plies out in our fields as well, so we’re trying everything we can to roll this back and give our farmers and ranchers certainty,” he says. “This could cost over $100,000 to mitigate, which is a huge cost to American agriculture.”
The rule is currently active in 48 states, as Texas and Idaho have been excluded from the rule’s jurisdiction thanks to pending legal action.
“The scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction has real impacts on irrigators across the country and so we continue to monitor developments on Capitol Hill and with the various legal challenges winding their way through the federal court system,” says Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association advocacy director.
Biden is expected to veto the legislation overturning the rule, and it appears the Senate does not have the votes to overturn Biden’s veto, according to The Hill.
Read more about WOTUS.