U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., is cheering Thursday's move by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and replace it with a new rule by the end of the year that promises more certainty for landowners and farmers across the nation.
“WOTUS was one of the most harmful and overreaching rules implemented by the Obama Administration, and its repeal is welcome news for farmers, ranchers, foresters, and landowners across the country," said LaMalfa, a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
"This rule meant treating a puddle on private property the same as it treats the Mississippi River," he said. "With this rule repealed, states, landowners, and businesses will have far more certainty when it comes to managing their land, water, and even planting a crop under the Clean Water Act. I thank the Trump administration for following through with the repeal of this dangerous rule, and I look forward to the implementation of a new one that actually works.”
LaMalfa has fought the WOTUS rule since its inception, sponsoring legislation to defund it while working with the Agriculture Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to roll back the regulation.
Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump issued an executive order requiring the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to begin dismantling the rule, which was adopted under President Barack Obama.
In 2017, Congressman LaMalfa rallied the Chairmen of the Agriculture and Judiciary Committees to urge Trump to review the case of California farmer John Duarte, who, thanks to the WOTUS rule, is facing $2.8 million in penalties after being accused of deep-ripping a wetland in his field near Red Bluff, Calif., which is in LaMalfa's district.
LaMalfa, a rice farmer, represents California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama counties.