Hoeven: EPA water rule is ‘bureaucratic overreach’

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said Wednesday that a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water rule was “bureaucratic overreach” that will harm U.S. farmers.

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“Our farmers and ranchers have been feeding the world and managing their land responsibly for generations,” Hoeven said. “Now, however, they’re very concerned that the EPA is trying to step in and make land-use decision for them. 

“This is clearly bureaucratic overreach.”

Last month, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new rule, known as Waters of the United States, to clarify which bodies of water — such as wetlands and streams — come under the agencies’ authority to protect under the Clean Water Act.

Republicans and the American Farm Bureau Federation have criticized the proposal, saying it will greatly increase EPA’s authority despite EPA administrator Gina McCarthy saying agriculture exemptions would remain in place.

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