Rep. Sam Graves

(Washington) -- Northern Missouri Congressman Sam Graves is among those crying foul over the reinstatement of rules governing the nation's waterways.

The Tarkio Republican is among the congressional representatives recently sending letters to President Biden demanding the easement of rules under the Waters of the U.S.--or WOTUS. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Thursday morning, Graves says WOTUS was instituted under the Obama Administration, giving the Environmental Protection Agency new authority over farming practices pertaining to rivers, streams or other bodies of water.

"If you had water, and it had a significant nexus--even though you had a ditch, let's say that was dry the majority of the year--but if it rained, it had water that ran off into another stream, ran off into another and ran off into another, they could use that as a definition of a significant nexus," said Graves. "It allowed the EPA to have access to every person's property out there--farmers, you name it. They could come on and shut down whatever business they were doing, whether it was a farming business, or whatever the case may be."

Graves says the Trump Administration eased the regulations under the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. But, President Biden's EPA reinstated the WOTUS standards enacted by President Obama. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to issue a ruling on the regulations.

"It's become a very big hot potato," he said. "The unfortunate part is that the Biden Administration has decided to weigh in on it, regardless of when the Supreme Court rules on it once and for all."

If the existing regulations remain in place, Graves believes the new WOTUS could have a drastic impact on area farmers. He believes a happy medium can be found between those wanting clean water and farmers wary of government overreach.

"Everybody wants clean water--and that's what's bizarre," said Graves. "I guess there's some people in Washington D.C. that we, has farmers, hoard our own clean water and give everybody else contaminated water--which is simply not the case. We want clean water, as well. However, there is a point where it goes too far, where they're restricting too much. And, the fact that water runs off from your field, and it's carrying soil in it--which is considered a contaminant, from the beginning of time, water carries soil as it erodes. But, the fact that it's considered a contaminant is just one of those frustrating regulatory items that could shut down farming."

Graves hopes the High Court issues its ruling on WOTUS soon. You can hear the full interview with Sam Graves here:

Northern Missouri Congressman Sam Graves talks about his role as chair of the U.S. House Transportation Committee and the latest developments regarding the Waters of the U.S. or WOTUS rule.

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