The American Farm Bureau Federation today called on President Biden to accept the will of Congress and repeal the 2023 Waters of the U.S. Rule. The House and Senate, in a rare bipartisan vote, passed a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ 2023 WOTUS Rule.
In a letter to President Biden, AFBF President Zippy Duvall wrote, “America’s farmers and ranchers need a clear, consistent, and transparent WOTUS rule so they can continue to protect our natural resources, operate with certainty, and create jobs in their communities. Continual revisions, remands, and reintroductions of WOTUS definitions only sow confusion and ultimately dissuade future investment in climate-smart agriculture. However, the new definition of WOTUS exceeds Congressional authority in multiple respects, ignores recent Supreme Court case law interpreting the Clean Water Act, and will be impossible to implement consistently in the field.”
Farmers and ranchers shouldn’t need a team of lawyers and consultants to determine how to care for their land. Unfortunately, the vague and conflicting rules complicate an already complex process and will expose farmers to costly fines as well as criminal charges.
The 2023 WOTUS Rule also expands the “significant nexus” test, which, in part, was challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Sackett v. EPA. “Despite requests by Members of Congress, farmers, ranchers and small businesses all across the country to delay any new regulation until that case is decided, EPA and the Corps disregarded this commonsense request and prematurely finalized yet another complex rule that lacks durability,” wrote President Duvall. “The Court’s decision in Sackett could render substantial portions of the final rule non-applicable and irrelevant – and require yet another WOTUS rule.”
Read the full letter here.