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Trump Ends WOTUS, Ag Supports Move

New ditch in farmland.
As expected, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Agriculture groups around the nation support the move.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black: “As the head of a regulatory agency I believe it is our responsibility to enforce the law through rules and regulations, not to create the law through rules and regulations. This expanded authority of the ‘Waters of the US (WOTUS)’ gave the federal government the ability to dictate how people can use their personal property and farmland around these small, insignificant collections of water and circumvented the will of Congress. I applaud the quick action of President Trump’s executive order to reverse this clear and blatant overreach of the government’s power.”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “President Trump’s executive order to ditch the Waters of the U.S. rule is a welcome relief to farmers and ranchers across the country today.

“The flawed WOTUS rule has proven to be nothing more than a federal land grab, aimed at telling farmers and ranchers how to run their businesses. The Environmental Protection Agency failed to listen to farmers’ and ranchers’ concerns when drafting the rule and instead created widespread confusion for agriculture. Under the rule, the smallest pond or ditch could be declared a federal waterway.

“Farmers and ranchers have been calling for a common-sense approach to regulatory reform, and today the Trump administration responded to that call. EPA has too long been characterized by regulatory overreach that disregards the positive conservation efforts of farmers and threatens their very way of life. Today’s action is as much a beginning as an end, and there is much work to do to ensure that any revised rule is transparent and fair for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC): “America’s pork producers are very pleased that the president ordered EPA and the Corps of Engineers to repeal or rewrite this ill-conceived, overbroad regulation,” said NPPC President John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa. “The WOTUS rule was a dramatic government overreach and an unprecedented expansion of federal jurisdiction and control over private lands.”

“It was the product of a flawed regulatory process that lacked transparency and no doubt would have been used by trial lawyers and environmental activists to attack farmers.”

“The WOTUS rule sought to hand control of land-use planning decisions to out-of-touch activists and government regulators in New York, San Francisco and Washington,” Weber said. “We all want clean water, but this regulation was just a big government land grab that would have allowed activists to micromanage all kinds of farming and business activities. We applaud President Trump for taking this action.”

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA): “We appreciate the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “We fully support the repeal of the WOTUS rule. Farmers and ranchers care deeply about clean water, but this rule had significant flaws. It was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible, and extremely difficult to implement.”

“NCGA remains committed to work with the EPA to ensure farmers have clarity and certainty they need about the regulations affecting their operations,” said Spurlock.

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