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EPA Fails to Create Fair and Durable WOTUS Rule

Micheal Clements

News Service Editor, NAFB

Courtney Briggs

Senior Director, Government Affairs

photo credit: Eric Kelsey, Used with Permission

The new Waters of the U.S. Rule from the Environmental Protection Agency missed the mark for farmers and ranchers. Micheal Clements shares more.

Clements: The Environmental Protection Agency’s rewrite of the Waters of the U.S. Rule failed to bring fairness to farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF Senior Government Affairs Director Courtney Briggs says Farm Bureau is disappointed in the direction taken by the EPA.
Briggs: This is a real missed opportunity to write a WOTUS rule that is fair to the regulated community and that is truly durable. And the agencies have addressed the headline grabbing aspects of the Supreme Court decision, like getting rid of the problematic significant nexus test, but they are trying to exploit aspects of the rule in order to expand their jurisdictional reach.
Clements: For farmers and ranchers, Briggs says the rule fails to bring clarity and certainty.
Briggs: So, while we've made a lot of progress with the Sackett decision, the agencies are still trying to be vague and amorphous with their policies, which equates to continued confusion and lack of certainty for landowners. So, we have long called for a durable rule, but this rulemaking completely misses the mark.
Clements: Briggs says it’s important that farmers and ranchers know the specifics of WOTUS to their state.
Briggs: So, the challenge now is to make sure our members understand the rules in the specific states that they live in, because there's still litigation that has enjoined the 2023 WOTUS rule in 27 states. So, that is really our focus right now, is to make sure that our members are well equipped to adapt to this new rulemaking.
Clements: Visit fb.org/wotus to learn more. Micheal Clements, Washington.

Related Issue:

Waters of the US

"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 supported the Navigable Waters Protection Rule."

– Zippy Duvall

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