WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined his fellow Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Republicans today on a letter led by EPW Ranking Member, Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jaime Pinkham who oversees the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The letter seeks answers regarding the decision to repeal and replace the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
“After the administration’s continued commitments to transparency, engagement, and communication with stakeholders and Congress on this issue, the lack of transparency surrounding the decision to abandon this legally defensible and environmentally sound rule is disheartening,” the senators wrote. “It is vital that the American public and their elected officials have confidence in the decisions and statements being made by EPA and the Corps, particularly on a rulemaking with such significant environmental, economic, and legal implications. This confidence can only be achieved through a transparent process, with sufficient information to understand the agencies’ scientific and legal rationales.”
The EPA announced earlier this month it will repeal the Trump Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule known as the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a decision Senator Cramer expressed disapproval for in a statement. Senator Cramer recently hosted EPA Administrator Regan on a trip to Bismarck and Mandan to meet with North Dakotans for a discussion on the agency’s environmental regulations, including WOTUS. He has also raised this issue multiple times with the new Assistant EPA Administrator for Water, Rahdika Fox. The senator secured a commitment from her to hold a WOTUS listening session in North Dakota.
In the letter sent today, the senators outlined their problems with the rule being repealed, expressed their concerns over the Administration’s lack of transparency, and requested the following information be provided to them by July 5, 2021: