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Farm Bureau Tells Congress WOTUS Misses the Mark

Micheal Clements

News Service Editor, NAFB

photo credit: Ben Borkowski/CC BY-SA2.0

Congress heard from the American Farm Bureau Federation Wednesday regarding the updated Waters of the U.S. Rule. Micheal Clements shares what farmers and ranchers are saying.

Clements: Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins told Congress Wednesday the updated Waters of the U.S. Rule creates uncertainty and unnecessary costs for farmers and ranchers.
Hawkins: What we as Farm Bureau had the chance to share with the House Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee is that the only thing certain under the new Biden rule is uncertainty. Truly, as a farmer, there is no way to take the rule text as it's been presented and published and determine whether you have features on your land that are jurisdictional or not. And that uncertainty is what we have dealt with for decades and what we need to correct in the long term.
Clements: Hawkins says the uncertainty created by the rule, which was released late last year, impacts the day-to-day operations for farmers and ranchers.
Hawkins: It's about the potential for being exposed to a permitting process and the cost that's associated with hiring experts and attorneys to walk you through the process. It's the uncertainty of potential compliance costs and the potential levying of civil and or criminal penalties, and ultimately, it's the red tape that impacts you to be able to do what you do on the farm.
Clements: Hawkins urges farmers and ranchers to stand up against WOTUS.
Hawkins: I encourage folks to work with their State Farm Bureaus. This is a team effort, and as, I think, historically there's been a broad coalition led by agriculture but covering the gamut of all industry who are standing up and saying we all support clean water, but we also need clear rules, and in this case the Biden rule misses the mark yet again.
Clements: Learn more at fb.org/wotus. Micheal Clements, Washington.