The New Clean Water Rule

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Clean water matters to all of us. For years, AFBF and others in agriculture have been calling for clean water and clear rules, because we know it’s possible to have both.
—  AFBF President Zippy Duvall

Issue at a Glance

  • Farmers and ranchers value clean water, and every day they are working to leave the land, air and water in better shape for their families, neighbors and future generations.
  •  Modern farming practices give farmers the tools they need to keep water safe for their farms, families and communities.

  • Unfortunately, in recent years federal agencies have muddied the waters with overreaching rules and regulations that are more about controlling land than protecting water.
  • It’s time for clear rules that protect farmers’ ability to produce food, fiber and fuel for our nation, while enhancing the natural resources we all depend on.

Get Your Clean Water Facts

  • The Safe Drinking Water Act is the primary law that protects all public drinking water supplies across the U.S.  Changes to Clean Water Act regulations do not reduce Safe Drinking Water Act protections.
  • The Clean Water Act regulates our nation’s “navigable waters”—also called “waters of the United States.” It imposes huge fines or even criminal liability for putting almost anything into those waters without a federal permit. 
  • The Clean Water Act recognizes that some surface waters should be regulated by the federal government, while some should be protected under state law. The proposed new clean water rule seeks to clarify which waters are subject to which type of protection. In particular, it preserves state authority over many land features that only carry water when it rains. 
  • Farmers aren’t anti-regulation: They are for common-sense rules that don’t require a team of consultants and lawyers to navigate.

Additional Resources

For more background on the Clean Water Act and the timeline of the 2015 WOTUS rule, go here.

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