Timing is everything

The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said the release of the updated Waters of the United States rule was timed to provide more certainty to agriculture.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Michael Regan told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works there would have been more confusion if the agency would have waited until after the Sackett vs. EPA ruling.

“We didn’t want to wait until after June, waiting for the Supreme Court and then, start a two-year process leaving farmers and ranchers in limbo.”

The timing of the release is one complaint from the national agriculture groups suing the EPA in a Circuit Court in South Texas. The updated WOTUS rule went into effect this week for all but two states.

Lawmakers told Regan the new rule is not durable, because attorneys general in nearly half of the country have filed litigation repealing the regulation. Lawmakers also called the updated WOTUS rule federal overreach.

The Senate is expected to vote on a joint resolution disapproving the Waters of the United States rule this week.

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