Gardner Applauds Withdrawal of Onerous Groundwater Rule

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) applauded today the United States Forest Service’s decision to formally withdraw its proposed groundwater directive. The directive, which would have drastically increased federal authority and regulation of groundwater in western states, had elicited concerns from non-partisan groups like the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) and National Water Resources Association (NWRA). 

In response to a question from Senator Gardner at an Energy and Natural Resources hearing in February about opposition to the directive from groups like the WGA and NWRA, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced that the rule had been put on hold, and that his agency would look to work with interested parties to craft better regulation. On June 19th, the Forest Service announced that the rule was being formally withdrawn.

“I appreciate the Forest Service withdrawing its proposed directive.” Gardner said. “The directive was developed without sufficient input from Western states and stakeholders, and would have infringed on the water rights of states, agriculture, and private citizens.”