South Dakota Waterways Regulated Under Proposed “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

This interactive map displays analysis from the Agriculture’s WOTUS Mapping Initiative (AWMI) outlining the South Dakota rivers, streams, wetlands, flood plains, and other waterways that could be regulated under a proposed power-grab from the Obama administration. AWMI compiled data from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 19 states to map areas the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could regulate under the new proposed definition of “waters of the U.S.” The map allows users to locate potentially regulated waterways on their property. I encourage South Dakotans to explore the map to understand the impact this rule could have on properties throughout the state.

AWMI Analysis of "Waters of the U.S."

Note: Analysis not completed for all 50 states.


What is the “waters of the U.S.” rule?

On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published a proposed rule redefining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act to include a number of small and seasonal bodies of water that have typically been regulated at the state level. Congress has rejected past EPA attempts to unilaterally expand its authority to regulate non-navigable bodies of water under the Clean Water Act. Despite Congressional intent, the EPA is once again attempting to bypass the legislative process by expanding its jurisdiction to regulate small and seasonal bodies of water. This proposed expansion of the EPA’s regulatory authority would have significant negative economic impacts on property owners, as they would likely be subjected to new federal permit requirements, compliance costs, and threats of significant fines.

How will the new rule affect South Dakotans?

The proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule could have significant negative effects on the lives of farmers, ranchers, small business owners, homeowners, and families. Direct and indirect costs would result from additional permit application expenses, mitigation requirements, and environmental analysis, and violating these requirements could cost farmers, ranchers, homeowners, and businesses thousands of dollars per day.

What can be done to prevent this rule from taking effect?

I have voiced strong opposition to this attempted power-grab since it was proposed by the EPA in March of 2014. I believe this rule will place undue burdens on property owners across South Dakota and usurp the regulation of these bodies of waters from state and local governments. This rule expands regulatory authority far beyond the limits placed on the EPA and USACE by Congress and the Supreme Court.

On June 19, 2014, Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) introduced the Protecting Water and Property Rights Act (S. 2496) in the U.S. Senate. I was a co-sponsor of this legislation in the 113th Congress, which would prevent the EPA and USACE from implementing the proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule. Additionally, I sent letters to the EPA and USACE asking them to withdraw the rule.

I am particularly concerned about the devastating effects implementation of this restrictive rule would have on our agricultural producers. I, along with my Republican colleagues on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in July to discuss our serious concerns about the impact this rule will have on rural America.

Agriculture’s WOTUS Mapping Initiative (AWMI)

The AWMI includes the following agricultural associations: American Farm Bureau Federation, Agricultural Retailers Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Pork Producers Council, the Fertilizer Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.