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Congressman Scott Tipton

Representing the 3rd District of Colorado

Tipton: “Court Ruling Against WOTUS is a Major Victory for Western Water Users”

October 9, 2015
Press Release

Court of Appeals Blocks President’s WOTUS Rule Nationwide

WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) called today’s Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to block the nationwide implementation of the President’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule a “major victory for Western water users and private property rights.” The controversial WOTUS rule would have drastically expanded the regulatory scope of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over surface water, raising concerns from farmers, ranchers and other water users over increased federal interference with privately held water rights.

In August, the District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction that blocked the rule from moving forward in 13 plaintiff-states, including Colorado. Today’s ruling blocks implementation of the rule nationwide.

“We’ve seen time and again the destructive impact federal regulators run amuck can have on private property rights, especially when it comes to water in the Western US. State law and priority based systems have ensured clean, safe and reliable water supplies for over a century in Colorado and the West, and today’s court ruling allows that to continue,” said Tipton. “The ruling against this massive federal water grab is a major victory for all water users who value access to clean and reliable water supplies.”

In May, the House passed the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732) to prohibit the EPA rule from going into effect. The House also passed a rider as part of H.R. 2028, the FY 2016 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would prohibit the implementation of the EPA rule. The Senate has not taken up either measure. Additionally, Tipton has reintroduced the Water Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1830) which seeks to protect private water rights holders from federal takings. H.R. 1830 passed the House in July as part of the Western Water and Food Security Act (H.R. 2898).   Learn more about that bill HERE.