News Releases

Statement on President Trump’s Directive to Begin Rollback of WOTUS Rule


February 28, 2017

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to review the Waters of the United States rule, begin efforts to rescind or significantly revise the regulation and take appropriate steps in ongoing litigation.

“The President’s action today is going to save countless farmers and ranchers across Arkansas from the negative impacts of this costly and unlawful rule. The EPA exceeded its authority when it proposed this rule, and today the process is beginning to end it. As a landowner, I know that farmers and ranchers are the first conservationists, but this rule would have stripped away private property rights. I am proud to have stood with my colleagues in challenging this rule, and I am grateful for the President’s executive order today.”

Rutledge was part of the coalition that helped secure a nationwide injunction, blocking enforcement of the rule, which proved crucial in providing time for a new administration and today’s executive order.

The rule, issued in June 2015, allowed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to assert federal authority over an untold number of small bodies of water, including roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other areas where water may flow once every 100 years.

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