WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drafted and performed the necessary rulemaking procedures to clarify the scope of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) classification under the Clean Water Act (CWA); and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court generally upheld the EPA’s implementation until Supreme Court rulings in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, (SWANCC) 531 U.S. 159 (2001) and Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 716 (2006) interpreted the regulatory scope of the CWA more narrowly than the agencies and lower courts were then doing, and created uncertainty about the appropriate scope of waters protected under the CWA; and
WHEREAS, the EPA has clarified the definition of the waters of the United States by determining that all tributaries to the nation’s traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, the territorial seas, or impoundments of these waters would be jurisdictional per se and protected under the CWA; and
WHEREAS, the EPA has clarified the definition of the waters of the United States by determining that waters of the United States include wetlands, ponds, lakes, oxbows, and similar waters that are adjacent to traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, the territorial seas, jurisdictional tributaries, or impoundments of these waters would be jurisdictional and therefore protected under the CWA; and
WHEREAS, the rule restores CWA safeguards for many of the waterbodies that were historically protected under the Act, including 2 million stream miles and 20 million wetland acres that provide critical wildlife habitat, flood control and drinking water to 117 million Americans; and
WHEREAS, streams and wetlands drive our economy and recreation by playing a critical role in fishing, hunting, agriculture, recreation, energy, manufacturing and providing drinking water for 1 in 3 people; and
WHEREAS, the National Wildlife Federation’s bi-partisan survey of sportsmen and women released in July 2015 found that three-quarters (75 percent) of hunters and anglers see applying the CWA to smaller streams and wetlands is more of a safeguard, rather than a burdensome regulation and 67 percent say they would have a more favorable opinion if their Senator upheld this application of the CWA.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation hereby is in support of the implementation and enforcement of the EPA’s 2015 waters of the United States rule.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, August 22, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.