Branstad, Reynolds, Northey applaud Executive Order that begins overhaul of Waters of the U.S. Rule


(DES MOINES) –Today, Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey applauded the Trump Administration’s Executive Order to begin the process of rescinding the harmful Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds both recently had direct conversations with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Scott Pruitt informing him of the harmful impact this rule would have on Iowa farmers and businesses. The Branstad-Reynolds Administration and Secretary Northey have expressed opposition to this rule since it was proposed in 2014 and finalized in 2015.

“Over the weekend, I attended National Governor’s Association meetings in Washington, DC and had the chance to talk personally with EPA Director Scott Pruitt on the impact that the flawed Waters of the U.S. rule would have on our state,” said Branstad. “Everybody wants clean water that requires we have good, clear, and well-designed regulations. But this rule would have imposed significant barriers to the advancement of innovative, state and local driven, conservation and environmental practices that would actually advance our common goal for water quality. I appreciate the Trump Administration’s action today on this fatally flawed rule.”

Lt. Gov. Reynolds added, “Today’s Executive Order shows how serious the Trump Administration is in cooperating and working with the states, rather than against us. This Federal overreach would have hurt Iowa farmers and small businesses the most. We are committed to advancing water quality in Iowa, and this is a significant step forward in accomplishing this goal. I want to thank Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst, Congressman Young, Congressman King and Congressman Blum for their steadfast opposition to this rule.”

“The proposed Waters of the U.S. rule has created tremendous uncertainty within agriculture and has really come to epitomize federal government overreach. President Trump campaigned on common-sense regulations and this action is very welcome. Hopefully this will start a new chapter of EPA working collaboratively with farmers and the agriculture community so we can work together to achieve the environmental goals we all share,” said Sec. Northey.

In October 2014, Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Sec. Bill Northey and various state leaders commented on the proposed WOTUS rule and stated that the Federal government’s rule seems to be more concerned with Federal control over local water bodies than actually improving water quality.

In November 2015, Gov. Branstad intervened in a case before the U.S. District Court of North Dakota Southwestern Division against the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their overreaching WOTUS rule. Gov. Branstad joined in support of 13 other states: North Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming and New Mexico. Nationwide, governors or attorney generals from over 31 states have taken action to ensure innovative state-based water quality initiatives, like the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, are not bogged down in Federal bureaucratic red tape.