Alexander Votes to Halt Federal Regulation of Mud Puddles, Nearly All Other Bodies of Water

Posted on April 21, 2016

Says rule imposes “big, wet blanket of regulation on farmers in Tennessee and across the country.”

WASHINGTON, April, 21, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted to stop an EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rule that would give the federal government authority to regulate nearly all water in the country – including mud puddles on Tennessee pastures – if the regulators determine that the water is within “significant” proximity of another waterway.  

“I’ve been fighting this rule since it was announced, because it puts a big, wet blanket of regulation on farmers in Tennessee and across the country. The Obama administration’s penchant for burdensome overreach has gone so far that the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are trying to regulate farmers’ mud puddles. That would mean higher costs for Tennessee families, farmers and businesses,” Alexander said.

Alexander voted for an amendment offered by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill that would block funding for implementation of the EPA’s Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule. The rule redefines what qualifies as a “navigable” waterway subject to the Clean Water Act.

Alexander, chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, co-authored the appropriations bill with Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Alexander was among 56 senators who supported Sen. Hoeven’s amendment, which needed 60 votes to be adopted. 

Alexander also voted last year to prohibit the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the Waters of the United States rule when he supported the fiscal year 2016 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

###

For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

To stay up-to-date on the senator’s latest actions, follow him on Twitter and YouTube.