The New Clean Water Rule

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Farmers and ranchers care about clean water and preserving the land, which are essential to producing healthy food and fiber and ensuring future generations can do the same. That’s why we support the new clean water rule.
—  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.
  • Because clean water is a top priority, farmers and ranchers welcome the clarity and commonsense the new Clean Water Rule provides.
  • The new Clean Water Rule does not change who oversees permanent waterways, such as lakes, rivers and streams.
  • The small changes in the rule make a big difference by drawing clear lines indicating that usually dry areas should no longer be considered federal waters.
  • The new Clean Water Rule ensures states can enforce their own robust environmental laws.

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.

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