AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Distinguished Senior Fellow and Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment Director Kathleen Hartnett White and Center for the American Future Robert Henneke issued the following statement after a federal judge in North Dakota issued a temporary injunction order preventing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing its plan to redefine the Waters of the United States (WOTUS):
“WOTUS is not about clean water, as the EPA claimed during its expensive and pervasive advertising campaign,” said White. “WOTUS is about amending the definitions of well understood words into tortured versions of themselves so that the EPA can seize control of dry land where water may flow after heavy rains. This means that if common drainage ditches or the channels between planted rows of crops contribute water flow, regardless of frequency or volume, to a downstream water it would categorically be within EPA’s purview. The average person will be forced to obtain a permit, potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, from the U.S. Corps of Engineers just to erect a fence or put in a driveway.”
"Respect for private property rights is tantamount to protection of individual liberty,” said Henneke. “This preliminary ruling is only the first step towards reversal of the EPA's unconstitutional regulatory policies."
The Honorable Kathleen Hartnett White is a Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence and the Director for the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment. She is also former Chairman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (2001-2007).
The Honorable Robert Henneke is the Director of the Foundation’s Center for the American Future.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.