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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

Rep. Darin LaHood Investigates Lack of Transparency, Accountability & Sound Science in EPA WOTUS Rulemaking

June 23, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. LaHood questioned EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during a Science, Space, and Technology Committing hearing examining the scientific justifications for the EPA’s sweeping regulatory agenda.

Rep. LaHood zeroed in on the EPA’s process for enacting the Water of the United States (WOTUS) rule in lieu of the recent court stay based on the questionable science the rule is based on. This rule redefines ‘navigable waterways’ to include ditches, ponds, and puddles, thereby giving the EPA the ability to regulate everything from farm puddles to mostly dry creek beds.

“Administrator McCarthy’s answers in committee today give me even more reason for skepticism that the EPA is conducting rulemaking in a transparent light, and based on sound science. The fact that this sweeping ‘rule’— which currently carries the weight of law—was written by unelected bureaucrats is cause enough for concern. But the dubiousness does not end there. Detailed, merit-based comments from the agriculture community were given to the EPA, but these were not taken into account when you look at the final rule and how it has been implemented. During my line of questioning, EPA Administrator McCarthy could not name a single agricultural group that was supportive of the rule. The EPA’s rulemaking process should be transparent, accountable, responsive, and grounded in legitimate science.  None of those words describe the WOTUS rule that is in question,” stated Rep. LaHood after the hearing.

On October 9, 2015 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest court of the land, issued a stay on implementation of the WOTUS rule within the thirty two states suing the federal government. The ruling cites legal concerns over whether elements of the rule are supported by science. 

To watch Rep. Darin LaHood’s line of questing in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing, CLICK here