Washington, D.C. –Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today spoke in favor of a Congressional Review Act resolution (S.J. Res. 22) disapproving of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation.

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Chairman Smith: “Mr. Speaker, I support S.J. Res 22, which rejects the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule. This rule is just another one of EPA’s many attempts to expand its jurisdiction and increase its power to regulate American waterways – even if that means invading Americans’ own backyards.

“The Science Committee’s oversight hearings revealed that the EPA made arbitrary decisions in writing this rule and justified it with phony science.  And the Government Accountability Office found that the EPA’s use of social media to promote the rule violated the law. 

“The Obama administration will do anything and say anything to impose its liberal agenda on the American people. I urge my colleagues to support S.J. Res 22 and disapprove the Waters of the United States rule. I yield back the balance of my time.”

Background: Smith has sent several letters to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy questioning the agency's rushed process and lack of transparency in pushing the WOTUS rule on the American people. More than 30 governors and state legislators across the country have also voiced their concerns about the threats to freedom and opportunity posed by this regulatory overreach.  Smith also sent a letter questioning claims by the Administrator about the scientific foundation for the WOTUS rule.

Last year, Smith voted in favor of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which requires the EPA to withdraw the rule and seek out adequate stakeholder input before proposing a new rule.

In 2014, the Science Committee investigated the EPA's creation of detailed maps showing waters and wetlands for all 50 states. The maps, which were created in 2013 shortly after EPA proposed its Waters of the US rule, had never been made public.

Although the EPA has claimed the maps were not used to regulate, the agency has failed to explain why the agency used taxpayer money to create them in the first place. Serious questions remain regarding the EPA's underlying motivations for creating such highly detailed maps.