Gardner Votes to Protect Colorado Water Rights

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today 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. WOTUS, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, redefines and expands waters that are subject to Clean Water Act regulations, and has the potential to impact an additional 1 million acres and 170,000 miles of stream in Colorado.   

“A glaring example of the federal government’s overreach, the WOTUS rule is an unconstitutional takeover of our local waters, which traditionally have been and should continue to be managed by states, local governments, and water districts,” said Gardner. “The WOTUS rule unfairly burdens Colorado farmers and ranchers with endless red tape and unnecessary costs, and that’s why I stand with them in firmly opposing it. Today’s vote blocks the implementation of WOTUS, and I’ll continue to work to protect the agriculture community in Colorado and throughout the country from the Obama Administration massive overreach.”


  • Gardner has been a consistent opponent of the WOTUS rule. He denounced the final WOTUS Rule when it was revealed last May and applauded the decision by Federal Judge Ralph Erickson to halt the rule’s implementation in 13 states. In September, 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, Gardner called it “a victory for agriculture, rural communities, and all Coloradans.” In November, he voted in favor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which 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, Gardner voted to override the President’s veto of legislation that would repeal WOTUS.


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 Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. 

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