Smith: The Trump Administration replaced the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. Rule with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Ag groups are pleased with just how clear and easy to understand the new rule is compared to its predecessor. James Henderson is a Colorado farmer who says the previous WOTUS rule was an unprecedented attack on property rights.
Henderson: As a farmer and rancher, one thing that I know in the West is our availability to divert water and to apply it as irrigated water in our fields is the only reason that we have a business. Waters of the United States would have put that in a tremendous amount of jeopardy.
Smith: He says the new water protection rule makes it much simpler for farmers and ranchers to conduct their business.
Henderson: The new Clean Water Rule the administration put out recently gives us a clear defining boundary on what is considered Waters of the United States, and so that allows us to address water quality issues on a local level.
Smith: Henderson says there are enough regulations on the books already when it comes to protecting the nation’s water supply. He says farmers and ranchers are the nation’s most effective conservationists. Henderson added the public would be “hard pressed” to find a farmer or rancher that wants to do harm to the environment.
Henderson: Because of the nature of what we do, working with nature to grow products that not only feed and clothe, but enrich the lives of all people across the country, we have this desire to protect and preserve nature, and to work with nature, and there are ample laws on the books to make sure that we are protecting our natural resources for generations to come.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.