Gardner Statement on Executive Order to Review WOTUS

Washington, D.C.  – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today released the below statement after President Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Developed by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, WOTUS redefines and expands waters that are subject to Clean Water Act regulations, and has the potential to impact more than a million acres and thousands of stream miles in Colorado.   


“I applaud President Trump’s executive order directing the EPA to review WOTUS, a glaring example of the federal government’s overreach. The WOTUS rule unfairly imposes burdensome red tape and unnecessary costs on Colorado’s farmers and ranchers at a time when the agriculture community is facing significant challenges and barriers to success. Today’s executive action is a step forward toward protecting the community from an unconstitutional takeover of our local waterways, and providing relief and certainty to the industry.”

Gardner has been a consistent opponent of the WOTUS rule. He denounced the final WOTUS Rule when it was revealed in May of 2015 and applauded the decision by Federal Judge Ralph Erickson to halt the rule’s implementation in 13 states. In September of 2015, he signed on as a cosponsor of the resolution of disapproval authored by Senator Ernst (R-IA), which later passed the Senate with Gardner’s support.

When the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals halted implementation of WOTUS nationwide in October of 2015, Gardner called it “a victory for agriculture, rural communities, and all Coloradans.” In November of 2015, he voted in favor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Actwhich would have forced the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to re-write the WOTUS rule with much stronger state and agricultural protections as well as more input from local communities.

In January of 2016, Gardner voted to override the President’s veto of legislation that would repeal WOTUS, and in April of 2016 he voted in favor of an amendment to the Senate Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from using funding to enforce the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation. 




Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Subcommittee on Energy.

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