Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

WOTUS Replacement Provides Needed Clarity, Water Protection

Podcasts / Newsline January 28, 2020

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The Waters of the U.S. replacement rule gives farmers and ranchers the clarity they need to comply with federal regulations while protecting the nation’s waterways. Micheal Clements has more.

Clements: The Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which replaces the Waters of the U.S. rule, clearly defines federal water jurisdiction, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Don Parrish, AFBF Senior Regulatory Relations Director, says the new rule allows farmers to understand water regulations while continuing to protect water quality.

Parrish: Well, I hope it provides the clarity that they need so that when they go out on their property, they can know where federal jurisdiction lies. I think that is something that our producers have been asking for for a very long time and I think this rule provides it.

Clements: Parrish says the new rule keeps other laws and regulations for water protection in place.

Parrish: All the other rules that are in place that form the web of protection that our country demands on water quality, it really is just one component of that. The Safe Drinking Water Act is still in place, livestock regulations are still in place, we’ve done nothing to change the protective nature of the regulations that are in place.

Clements: Parrish says the rule provides the certainty farmers need to support the rural economy and the nation’s needs for clean water.

Parrish: In a time of very intense global competition, the need for regulatory clarity and certainty is apparent. We need to create jobs, we need to strengthen local economies, we’ve got to create the kind of goods and services and the food and the fiber and the fuel this nation needs. Farmers need to be unleashed to do that. Clarity provides that. But, we also need clean water. Farmers embrace that and are supportive of it. We think that this regulation provides for both of those.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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