U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, today sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding recent reports that the Agency inappropriately coordinated with outside organizations to build support for its proposed rule to expand the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). EPA worked with environmental groups to develop a taxpayer funded public relations campaign, but has not listened to feedback from the small business community.
“When it comes to the controversial ‘waters of the United States’ rule, it’s certainly clear that EPA places a higher priority on the President’s environmental agenda than it does on protecting the interests of America’s small businesses – which is required by law,” said Vitter. “EPA needs to be held accountable and confirm to the American people that it followed all relevant laws during the rule-making process before the WOTUS rule is finalized.”
In today’s letter Vitter requests information and documents related to EPA’s coordination with outside organizations on public relations, strategy, and messaging to promote the proposed WOTUS rule. Last week, Vitter held a Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee hearing to examine how the proposed WOTUS rule would affect small businesses. During the hearing, a representative from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy testified that EPA failed to properly consult small businesses in the rulemaking process as required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Vitter will soon introduce a resolution condemning the administration’s failure to include small businesses in the WOTUS rule-making process. Click here for more information.