The U.S. Senate has joined the House in passing the Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval that seeks to overturn the EPA’s recently revised ‘Waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) rule.
The legislation passed the Senate 53-43 after passing the House of Representatives earlier this month. The resolution now goes to President Biden’s desk. However, Biden has said he would veto the measure.
The legislation stems from an expansion of the EPA’s WOTUS definition in late 2021, which took effect on March 20. A district judge in Texas has blocked the rule from taking effect in Texas and Idaho.
Farmers and landowners can be fined or threatened with jail time if the EPA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finds that they are in violation of the WOTUS rule, which was first established to regulate ‘navigable bodies of water’, but has since been extended to include ditches, drainages and low spots on farmlands and pastures.
The fate of WOTUS may ultimately lie with the U.S. Supreme Court once they hand down their decision in the Sackett v. EPA case. That decision is expected before the end of the Supreme Court’s current term, which will likely be in late June or early July.