The rule has been criticized as EPA overreach that will hurt business and has been subject to several lawsuits, from states as well as business groups, and legislation seeking to nullify it.
“Hardworking Iowans don’t need more Washington bureaucrats from the EPA telling our job creators how best to use their land,” Ernst said in a statement on the resolution, which seeks to block the rule.
The rule, developed with the Army Corps of Engineers using what a White House spokesman called “the best science available” to determine how waterways are connected, protects two million miles of streams and 20 million acres of wetlands that the Clean Water Act did not clearly cover before. The EPA estimates that a third of Americans get their drinking water from sources connected to the added waterways.
A bill in the Senate already seeks to nullify the rule. That bill, introduced by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), passed the Senate Environment and Public Works committee in June in an 11-9 vote split cleanly along party lines, with only Republicans supporting it. President Obama has said he would veto any legislation stopping the rule.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), along with 46 of her Republican colleagues, introduced a joint resolution Thursday “disapproving” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule, a recently-added addition to the Clean Water Act that clarifies the EPA’s jurisdiction over some streams and wetlands.