WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator and Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife Chairman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) announced today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will halt a final Water Supply Rule from being issued for at least six months in order to better integrate input from stakeholders.
“This is a major victory,” said Senator Cramer. “The Corps’ preferred rule ignores both precedent and statute. It was never the intention of Congress to federalize the water in our country’s major rivers, and the final rule should reflect that. Now that the Corps has reluctantly given this reprieve and expanded the process, it is critical every stakeholder express their concerns and stand up for their rights in order to make the Corps better understand this issue and give us a better product.”
This comes after Senator Cramer led 18 of his colleagues in expressing strong bipartisan opposition to the USACE’s Water Supply Rule rulemaking process, which left these Senators- as well as states, tribes, and stakeholders- believing reasonable concerns had not been adequately addressed.
“We have attempted to provide input to the Corps on its proposed implementation of federal law, but our concerns have not been adequately addressed,” the group of Senators wrote to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). “We urge you in your capacity to direct the Corps to make the adjustments necessary to follow decades of federal precedent and respect state and tribal water authority.”
OMB also received letters on this issue from the National Water Resources Association, the Western Governors Association, the Western States Water Council, the National Water Supply Alliance, and the Conference of Western Attorneys General.