Clements: Following President Donald Trump’s executive order repealing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule Tuesday, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told the American Farm Bureau Federation the move will bring certainty in water regulation for farmers and ranchers.
Pruitt: And what we need there is regulatory certainty. The definition that was passed in 2015 transformed the authority, the jurisdiction, the power of the EPA in regulating water. And made the EPA the first stop when someone wanted to do what? Farm and ranch, oil and gas and build a subdivision, and that was never the intent of the Clean Water Act. And I’m so thankful that the President and we have taken steps already to address the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction over puddles, they don’t have jurisdiction over dry creek beds, and people across the country can rest assured that we are going to get that fixed.
Clements: Repealing and replacing the rule is a long-standing priority for AFBF and its members. Pruitt says land-use, private property rights and state primacy are essential with the regulation of water.
Pruitt: And what’s happened over the last couple of years as all those things have been turned on their head, where states didn’t have primacy, and private property owners were in a state of uncertainty about what they could and could not do and did the EPA have jurisdiction. And the EPA was taking the statute, the Clean Water Act, and literally reimaging and enlarging it to a point that it put that it them ground zero on authority and power and scope, that’s all going to change.
Clements: Pruitt says repealing WOTUS helps control overregulation by the previous administration.
Pruitt: At the end of the day the goal has to be what? Regulatory certainty, objectively measured, so that the rule of the EPA and the role of the state departments environmental quality, and the water resources board and all those agencies state levels and private property owners and towns and municipalities across the country that have land-use decisions that they are making, that their authority, their power, their decision making is respected and that we stay in our lane.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF