Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney Statement on WOTUS Executive Order

Feb 28, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an executive order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate the Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, which was an unprecedented expansion of the EPA’s authority to regulate our local streams, ponds and waterways.

“President Trump’s actions today are a welcome relief for Florida farmers, business owners and local governments, who ultimately would be on the hook for the billions it would cost to comply with WOTUS’ unnecessarily broad regulations,” Rooney said. “Floridians have a unique understanding and respect for our waterways and I am proud to represent a district that’s made real progress because of the successful cooperation of ranchers, farmers, conservation groups and state and local governments to protect our state’s vibrant ecosystem. The federal government should respect these functioning dynamics taking place at the state level, rather than impede our state’s economic growth and our farmers’ ability to feed the nation.”  

The Waters of the US rule is a classic example of federal government overreach. In 2015, the Obama administration rule broadened the definition of the type of water body that would fall under the EPA’s jurisdiction to include ditches, farm ponds and puddles. Rooney represents one of the largest agriculture districts east of the Mississippi River and has adamantly opposed the rule since its enactment. In October 2016, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report detailing findings from a two-year investigation into the WOTUS rulemaking process. The report found that the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accelerated the rule based on politically-motivated timelines, the EPA made no effort to ensure the rule was based on sound science, and the agency did not fully review public comments before drafting the final rule.