Clements: The Environmental Protection Agency’s action to extend the delay of application for the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule is a welcome relief to farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF senior director of regulatory relations Don Parrish says the move by the EPA is a step forward on water regulation.
Parrish: We got to hand it to this administration for doing what they need to do to make sure that, not just farmers and ranchers, but everyone who uses the landscape, can operate with certainty, even if they operate in multiple states. And this revision to the 2015 rule to extend the application date is a step in the right direction.
Clements: The extension was needed following a Supreme Court decision defining jurisdiction of the rule to federal district courts, not federal appeals courts, where a nationwide hold on WOTUS was placed. The Supreme Court action nullified the lower court delay.
Parrish: So, this administration scrambled to try to make sure that the 2015 rule never went into effect. And we had more than one court say that this rule was illegal. They wouldn’t have put a nationwide stay on it otherwise. So, the last thing we want is to see this rule to go into effect.
Clements: He says the latest EPA action allows for a proper evaluation and adjustments to the rule before implementation.
Parrish: We can all rest assured that whenever something does go into effect, it’s going to be protective of the environment, it’s going to be protective of business, and hopefully it’s going to have the commonsense underpinnings that farmers expect from regulations, so that we can know when we walk out on our property what is regulated and how to comply with the law.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.