Press Releases

Boozman Calls on President to Abandon Revival of Burdensome Regulations on Arkansas Agriculture and Landowners

Urges Administration to Halt New WOTUS Rulemaking until Supreme Court Decision

Feb 23 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) reinforced his commitment to protecting agricultural producers and landowners against overreaching regulations that put Washington in charge of ditches, ponds and puddles in Arkansans’ backyards. 

During a meeting with the Agricultural Council of Arkansas on Wednesday, Boozman criticized efforts by the Biden administration to revive the controversial and burdensome Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that created confusion and red tape for agricultural producers nationwide. 

Boozman, the leading Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced he joined a letter led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, requesting the Biden administration halt plans to finalize its definition of WOTUS under the Clean Water Act until after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency.  

“It is expected that the Court will rule on the appropriate test for determining whether waterbodies and wetlands are jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act for the first time in more than 15 years,” members wrote. 

“Despite this administration’s statements of a desire to establish a ‘durable’ definition of WOTUS in order to end ‘whiplash in how to best protect our waters across America,’ its approach to date has exacerbated—not mitigated—regulatory uncertainty,” members continued. 

View the full letter here.


In 2015, the Obama administration finalized a rule expanding the WOTUS definition—giving the federal government authority to regulate almost all of the water in Arkansas—that generated confusion and burdensome red tape for Arkansas’s agriculture industry, private landowners and businesses. Before the rule was finalized, Boozman called on the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to abandon the rule and introduced legislation to stop it. He also led efforts to nullify the rule through the Congressional Review Act.

Boozman praised the Trump administration upon its announcement that it was dismantling WOTUS and would work to fashion a new regulation that clearly defined the difference between federally protected and state protected wetlands by creating four clear categories of waters that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. The new Navigable Waters Protection rule was finalized in 2020. 

On day one of his administration, President Biden signed an executive order to roll back the Trump administration’s executive order which began the process of replacing Obama’s WOTUS rule. 

Boozman recently joined all Republican Senators calling on President Biden to stop the rulemaking to redefine the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act until the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.