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GCSAA WOTUS letters recognized during Senate EPW Committee hearing

by Government Affairs Team | Jun 11, 2019

Update

GCSAA affiliated chapters were mentioned on Capitol Hill during the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works committee hearing on June 12. Two U.S. Senators submitted letters from GCSAA affiliated chapters into the Congressional record in support of the 2019 WOTUS rule replacement.

You can watch the EPW Committee hearing here.

Letters were submitted into the record by:

 

  • Sen. Shelley Capito (R-WV) on behalf of the West Virginia GCSA (view at 1:47:37 mark) Here is the letter: WVGCSA EPW letter
  • Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) on behalf of the Oklahoma GCSA (view at 36:20 mark) Here is the letter: Senate EPW WOTUS Comments - OK

Committee Chairman Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) on behalf of the Peaks and Prairies GCSA submitted a letter to the Congressional record but not during the live public hearing. Here is a copy of the letter: PPGCSA WOTUS 2020 letter

GCSAA's Government Affairs team continues to find ways for the association to have its voice heard on important issues facing the golf course management profession.

Background

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a joint hearing of the full committee and the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife entitled, "A Review of Waters of the U.S. Regulations: Their Impact on States and the American People” on June 12.

Those speaking at the joint hearing included:

  • Todd Fornstrom, president, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation
  • The Honorable Doug C. Goehring, commissioner, North Dakota Department of Agriculture
  • Richard Elias, supervisor, District 5 of the Pima County Board of Supervisors in Arizona

GCSAA workd with several of its affiliated chapters to submit letters to members of the committee in support of the EPA’s rewrite of the WOTUS rule in advance of the joint hearing. The Trump Administration is continuing to focus on a WOTUS repeal and replace strategy.

Step one: Repeal

The EPA and Army Corps listed repealing the 2015 WOTUS rule as the first step. A proposed rule to that effect was first published in July 2017. At this time, the agencies are reviewing the public comments they received on the proposal. No timeline has been set for the next move, but both agencies initially said they hoped to remove the 2015 rule completely before replacing it with a new definition.

Step two: Replace

While comments on the rule repealing the 2015 WOTUS definition were still being considered, the agencies moved forward with their proposal for a new water rule. This new definition of “Waters of the U.S.” placed more appropriate boundaries on federal jurisdiction and empowered state and local land managers. The new water rule was open for public comment until April 15, 2019. Further action is expected by the end of the year.

Read the golf industry's comments on the proposed 2019 WOTUS rule.