It’s ‘Groundhog Day’ all over again for the controversial Obama-era Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, as Biden’s EPA Chief Michael Regan moves to dump the Trump rule that eased the sweeping Obama wetlands restrictions. He recently told the Senate Environment Committee the Obama WOTUS rule and the Trump replacement both need fixing.
But American Farm Bureau’s Don Parrish fears the Biden EPA will now dump Trump’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule that eased restrictions on streams, ditches, farm ponds and more, key for agriculture.
“It’s very disappointing. He said he was looking for middle-ground, and the take and the position that they seem to be taking, is not looking for that. So, from a farmer’s perspective, we’ve got a question.”
But Parrish says ‘red flags’ are going up.
“We have heard from both the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that their Congressional relations people are actually calling out issues like prior-converted croplands and other things that are specific to agriculture as ‘implementation issues.”
Ultimately, it could be up to the Supreme Court to rule on what’s land and what’s water, where does one stop and the other begin. Until then, Parrish sees a Biden move to derail litigation.
“This move and this aggressive of a move, is intended to pretty much stop all court activity on this.”
As lower court judges see nothing to rule on, until EPA replaces a ditched Trump rule with a new Biden WOTUS rule.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)