Burgum pushes back on Biden Administration Waters of the U.S. Rule

Photo by: Governor Doug Burgum - Facebook
Photo by: Governor Doug Burgum - Facebook

(Bismarck, ND) -- Governor Doug Burgum is pushing back on the Biden administration's move to restore Obama-era environmental regulations.

The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back the Trump administration's definition of Waters Of The U.S.

“After North Dakota led the fight against the Obama administration’s misguided WOTUS rule, it’s disappointing that the Biden administration is doubling down on this overreaching policy,” Burgum said in a statement released to WDAY Radio. “The EPA’s reworked version of WOTUS has the same problems as its predecessor, violating landowner rights and creating confusion for farmers, ranchers and industry by adding red tape and erroneously classifying almost every stream, pond and wetland as a federally managed water. The result will be higher costs for food, fuel and other consumer goods with no substantial benefit to the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the final rule in the Federal Register Wednesday. It repeals the definition of WOTUS that the Trump administration adopted in 2020 in its Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The final rule takes effect 60 days after it is published, unless legal action delays it.

Burgum says the WOTUS rule will violate landowner rights and create confusion for agricultural producers. The governor calls the move to extend federal quality protections to rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands in North Dakota "misguided" and "overreaching."