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Senator Lankford Urges President to Overturn WOTUS

WASHINGTON, DC—  Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today voted for a resolution of disapproval of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ‘Waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) rule. The resolution passed with a bipartisan vote of 53-44.

“The ‘Waters of the United States’ rule is one of the greatest examples of presidential overreach in a decade,” said Lankford. “The American people have soundly rejected this expansion of power, because they agree that federal authority should be limited on private land. Today, the Senate sent a strong message, on behalf of farmers, ranchers, rural land owners, and small businesses, that this type of extreme action is wrong for their land and their local economy.”

In June, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a final WOTUS rule that drastically expands their definition of regulated navigable waters, well beyond the intent of the 1972 Clean Water Act. Yesterday, the Senate voted on the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S.1140), a bill that would have protected homeowners and farmers by directing EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to revise the WOTUS rule to exclude small bodies of water such as isolated ponds, ditches, agriculture water, storm water, and other similar streams without enough flow to carry pollutants to navigable waters.

The Federal Water Quality Protection Act needed 60 votes to move forward but it was filibustered by Senate Democrats. Therefore, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) scheduled today’s resolution of disapproval, which only needed 51 votes to pass the Senate.

In August, Lankford and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) sent a letter to the EPA to seek further clarification on compliance for the WOTUS rule. Lankford was a cosponsor of a Senate resolution to nullify expanded WOTUS definition.