Murkowski Welcomes EPA Move to Rescind Burdensome WOTUS Rule

Agency Proposes to Restore Previous Regulation as Long-Term Replacement is Developed

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed rule to rescind the previous administration’s “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. The agency intends to re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 as it works on a less burdensome long-term replacement.

“The WOTUS rule was one of the most controversial finalized by the Obama administration. Some 31 states, including Alaska, sued to block it. I strongly and consistently opposed the rule because it was yet another burden for Alaskans that would have lessened our economic opportunities, stranding projects and capital while leaving confusion and frustration in their place,” Murkowski said. “During today’s Interior Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, I also asked Administrator Pruitt to carefully consider the impact that a new rule will have on Alaska, because two-thirds of our state is already considered wetlands. I look forward to working with EPA throughout this process to ensure there is a robust discussion with our local communities about how to reasonably protect our waters.”

Murkowski is Chairman of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee and asked Administrator Pruitt about the WOTUS rule change this morning, during an oversight hearing to examine the President’s budget request for EPA for Fiscal Year 2018. In both 2015 and 2016, Murkowski’s Interior Appropriations bills included language to block the Obama administration’s damaging WOTUS rule.