ARLINGTON, Va.—National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to withdraw the controversial 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
“We appreciate EPA Administrator Pruitt recognizing the need to revisit this overbearing regulation and avoid needless increased costs for millions of electric co-op consumers,” Matheson said.
“As written, the rule would dramatically expand federal oversight of features that only hold water after a rain. This would have increased costs and impaired the ability of co-ops to build and maintain power lines. We encourage EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to propose a new common-sense rule that recognizes the role of the states, protects the environment, and allows co-ops to continue providing affordable and reliable power.”
The 2015 rule was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and never implemented. The nation’s waters continue to be protected under the rules in place before 2015, which require co-ops to obtain Army Corps of Engineers permits in instances in which power lines cross navigable waters.