Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt visited South Carolina Monday as part of a multistate tour to promote his effort to redo the Obama administration's contentious Waters of the U.S. rule.
"The Trump administration and EPA are committed to empowering agriculture and business leaders who have been burdened with overreaching regulations that do little to promote environmental stewardship," Pruitt said. "By beginning the process to redefine WOTUS, we are providing regulatory certainty for South Carolinians while working together with the state to keep our waters clean."
The rule expanded the EPA's jurisdiction over waterways to include ditches and watering holes, making a wider range of stakeholders, from farmers to natural gas drillers, subject to the agency's authority. Pruitt initiated the WOTUS review earlier this month. Halting the regulation was part of an executive order that President Trump signed soon after taking office in January.
Pruitt was in South Carolina as part of a multistate tour to discuss the Trump administration's effort to rein in the Obama administration's water rule, which has been a GOP priority the last few years.
Pruitt was in Utah, Minnesota and Arkansas last week before taking his trip to the Southeast. He was joined by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, in addition to Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, and South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. They convened a roundtable at a local sod farm with farming and business leaders.
"We are very appreciative of EPA Administrator Pruitt taking time to visit South Carolina and underscore the negative impact of the Obama administration's WOTUS regulation," Graham said. "This Obama regulation greatly expanded the power of the federal government at the expense of our farmers and local development. I opposed this misguided proposal from the start," he said. "It failed the common-sense test and has proven to be government overreach at its worst. I appreciate Administrator Pruitt and President Trump for making clear that government overregulation like WOTUS will be reviewed and reformed."