The process that led to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule “was rife with legal shortcuts, predetermined conclusions, and politically-driven timelines,” according to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
In a recently released report, the committee outlined the flawed process that led administration staff to bypass regulatory protocols in order to create a rule that radically expands federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and poses serious concerns for the aggregates industry and the nation. “This rulemaking demonstrates how an ideological policy agenda can override regulatory safeguards put in place by Congress,” the committee said in the report.
“This confirms so much of what we have been saying about the rule since it was being written,” said Emily Coyner, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) director of environmental affairs. “The rulemaking process was flawed from the beginning and then EPA subverted the comment process, did not conduct a proper economic analysis and even broke anti-lobbying laws in order to increase support for the rule.”
NSSGA filed a lawsuit last year as part of a coalition of organizations and businesses in order to challenge the rule. A nationwide stay is currently keeping the rule from being implemented across the country.