Rutledge Praises EPA for Rescinding WOTUS Rule
June 27, 2017
Big win for Arkansas landowners
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today praised the action of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt for rescinding the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
"The full rescindment of this unlawful rule is a big win for Arkansas landowners," said Attorney General Rutledge. "WOTUS has been enjoined because of the work of attorneys general, and today's action shows a clear signal that the EPA is returning to its core mission. I look forward to working with the agency as it works to draft a new, lawful rule that protects our waters and does not harm our farmers and ranchers, who continue to be the first conservationists."
In February, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to review the WOTUS rule, begin efforts to rescind or significantly revise the regulation and take appropriate steps in ongoing litigation. Rutledge and a bi-partisan coalition of 19 other attorneys general sent a letter last week to the EPA as part of the review urging the EPA to preserve the role of the states in protecting the nation’s waters.
Rutledge was part of a coalition that helped secure a nationwide injunction in August 2015, blocking enforcement of the rule, which allowed the new administration to review the rule.
Rutledge testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in March 2015 urging the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the rule because of the negative impact it would have on Arkansas farmers. In 2012, agriculture added $20.1 billion to the Arkansas economy, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
The rule was issued in June 2015 and allowed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to assert federal authority over a vast number of small bodies of water, roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other area where water may flow once every 100 years.